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Jennifer Connolly breaks Universiade meet record twice a day


11:12, August 19, 2011

Gold medalist Jennifer Connolly of the United States (C), silver medalist Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarussia (L), and bronze medalist Grace Loh of Australia pose for group photos during the awarding ceremony of women's 50m backstroke of swimming at the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, a city of south China's Guangdong Province, Aug. 18, 2011. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)

SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. swimmer Jennifer Connolly broke meet record twice a day to win her first Universiade gold in the women's 50m backstroke here on Thursday.

In the morning's heats, the 21-year-old junior from University of Tennessee created her first game record by cutting Japanese Shiho Sakai's time off 0.04 seconds. In the night's final, she refreshed her own record at 27.92 seconds.

"It's definitely the best performance in my career. My goal is actually to get the American record, which was 27.80 seconds. Unfortunately I didn't get that, but I'm extremely happy with the gold medal," said the new Universiade record holder.

Surfacing as the second fastest behind Connolly by merely 0.01 second, Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus narrowly miss the gold while Grace Loh, Australia's first world junior swimming champion, won bronze.

Cseh Laszlo of Hungary, eight-time European championships winner and the reigning Olympic silver medalist in men's 400m individual medley, seized his third title in Shenzhen Universiade by hitting line first at 4:12.67 in the same discipline.

Guangzhou Asian Games 400m medley champion Horihata Yuya of Japan trod on Cseh's heels 0.99 seconds later, beating William Harris of America to win the silver.

China also set up a new game record 3:59.15 in women's 4x100m medley relay by wining their first team title.

"I'm really thrilled to win a team gold. I would attribute our success to the strength, effort and perform as a whole union. It also shows our concerted spirit to the world," said Lu Ying, the third swimmer of China who found the winning position.

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