Peirsol breaks 100m backstroke world record

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: Olympic champion Aaron Peirsol reclaimed the 100 metres backstroke world record Wednesday with a time of 51.94 seconds, re-establishing himself as the man to beat at the World Championships this month.

Peirsol, who won Olympic gold in a then-world record of 52.54 at Beijing last year, admitted he was surprised to see the record fall to Aschwin Wildeboer Faber, who turned in a time of 52.38sec in leading off Spain''s medley relay at the Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Italy, on July 1.

Wildeboer Faber''s performance had ended the American''s near five-year reign as world record-holder, but as it turned out, only briefly.

Peirsol, 25, lowered the 100m backstroke mark for the sixth time in his career.

Matt Grevers was barely ahead of Peirsol at the turn, but settled for second in 53.11.

Peirsol said breaking the 52-second barrier was in his mind going into the race.

Peirsol raced in an Arena X-Glide, one of the new generation of polyurethane-based suits, but chose a style that left his torso bare.

Meanwhile, Michael Phelps achieved victories in the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly at the US trials.