Mark Gangloff burst through the one-minute barrier in the 100m breaststroke on Tuesday, booking his World Championship berth with a victory in 59.01 seconds at the US Swimming Championships.
Gangloff’s time was the second-fastest ever posted, trailing the world record of 58.91 seconds held by Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima.
With Beijing Olympic hero Michael Phelps waiting in the wings on the first day of the championships, US swimmers showed they won’t be left behind in the race to get the most out of the super-suits linked to a wave of world records already this year.
Gangloff notched his first 100m breaststroke in under a minute in a Jaked, a performance he had been anticipating since long before the advent of the controversial all-polyurethane suit.
“I’ve been knocking on that barrier for so long — I busted through it,” said Gangloff, whose previous best was 1:00:10. “I almost skipped 59.”
“It was a wonderful race,” said Gangloff, who led at the turn with a split of 27.64 seconds and finished in front of Eric Shanteau, who notched his second sub-one minute time of the day with a time of 59.45.
The top two finishers in each event at the meet qualify for the World Championships in Rome later this month.
Tyler Clary, also wearing a Jaked, set a world-record pace through the first two legs of the men’s 400m individual medley, before he was overhauled on the breaststroke leg by Ryan Lochte, whose two gold and two bronze medals at the Beijing Games included bronze in the event.
Lochte won in 4:06.40, while Clary was second in 4:06.96 — after bringing a personal best of 4:14.13 into the meet.
Julia Smit, a relay medalist at the Beijing Games, used a strong breaststroke leg to win the women’s 200m individual medley in a US record of 2:09.34.
Smit, clad in a Blueseventy suit, eclipsed the national record of 2:09.71 set by Katie Hoff at last year’s Olympic trials in Omaha.
Elizabeth Pelton set a blazing pace through the opening butterfly and backstroke legs, but couldn’t hold off Smit and finished second in 2:11.03.
Hoff, who elected not to swim the medleys, was a disappointing sixth in the 400m freestyle won by Allison Schmitt (4:06.77) ahead of Chloe Sutton (4:07.20).
Olympic silver medalist Christine Magnuson punched her ticket to Rome with a victory in the 100m butterfly. Magnuson won in 57.15 seconds, with Dana Vollmer second in 57.32. Olympic relay gold medalist Peter Vanderkaay won in 3:45.17. Daniel Madwed was second in 3:47.24.
Phelps, winner of an unprecented eight gold medals in Beijing, was scheduled to launch his four-event program in Indianapolis yesterday, with the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly.