Hardy breaks world record in 50-meter breaststroke

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/swimminggeneric1.jpg' class='caption'> Jessica Hardy broke the world record in the 50-meter breaststroke when she time-trialed the 100m breaststroke at the US Open National Championships.

Updated: August 07, 2009 09:50 IST
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Federal Way, Washington:

American Jessica Hardy broke the world record in the 50-meter breaststroke when she time-trialed the 100-meter breaststroke at the US Open National Championships on Thursday.

Hardy split a time of 29.95 seconds to beat the previous mark of 30.09 set by Yuliya Efimova of Russia at the world championships on August 2.

Hardy, 22, made her return on Wednesday after a one-year ban because of a failed drug test. She finished second in the 100-meter freestyle. She is also scheduled to swim in the 100 breaststroke on Friday and the 50 free on Saturday.

Hardy was banned from competing at the 2008 Olympics after a failed drug test. The one-year ban ended on July 29.

In May, the American Arbitration Association found the failed test was caused by a contaminated nutritional supplement and requested that Hardy not to lose her eligibility for the 2012 London Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and FINA, swimming's governing body, disagree. They have appealed to the Court for Arbitration of Sport, and they want her ineligible for the 2012 Olympics, based on International Olympic Committee rules that athletes are barred from the next games if they incur a doping ban of at least six months.

Hardy hopes the CAS will rule by the end of the year.

Olympian Elaine Breeden, who set the US Open meet record during prelims in the event, earned her second gold medal in three days when she had the top time of 58.31 in the women's 100 butterfly. Alisa Finn was the runner-up in 58.96, while Kelley Hug was third in 59.49.

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