Jessica Hardy becomes the latest swimmer
in the record books [AFP]
Another world record has been broken by a swimmer wearing the controversial Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit.

Jessica Hardy of the United States set a record in the women's 50-meter breaststroke at the short-course swimming world championships.

Since the LZR suit was unveiled in February, 19 long-course world records have been set and four short-course marks.

The new Speedo suit has been worn in all but one of the total 23 records.

Swimming's world governing body decided last weekend not to ban the new high-tech Speedo suit, despite claims of buoyancy and "technological doping'' by some critics.

The 21-year-old Hardy finished in 29.58 seconds to shave 0.32 off the record.

"I love wearing the new suit," Hardy said. "I don't know the politics behind it but I feel comfortable and more confident in it. It's fabulous for our sport. I just wear what I'm allowed to wear."

Jade Edmistone of Australia had set the previous record of 29.90 in 2004.

Kate Haywood of Britain finished second Thursday in 30.35 and Sarah Katsoulis of Australia was third in 30.35.

"We don't race short course ever so I don't know what to set my goals at," a surprised Hardy said.

Each world record in Manchester comes with a $15,000 prize and Hardy said she might "do some shopping."

Lochte defends title

Ryan Lochte, who also wears the LZR, defended his title in the 400 individual medley with a winning time of 4:03.21, slightly off his championship record of 4:02.49 set two years ago in Shanghai.

It was Lochte's second gold of the championship after leading off the American world record in the 400 free relay Wednesday.

Lochte's American teammate Robert Margalis finished second in 4:03.74 and Ioannis Drymonakos of Greece was third in 4:05.11.

Liam Tancock of Britain won the 100 backstroke in 50.14.

Overall World Cup champion Randall Bal of the United States finished second in 50.42 and Stanislav Donets of Russia took the bronze in 50.53.

Markus Rogan, the Austrian who has finished second seven times at Olympics and world championships, placed fourth.

Source: Agencies