Rebecca Soni breaks her own world record, wins 200 breast

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

Rebecca Soni became the first swimmer to defend an Olympic title in London, breaking her own world record with a 2:19.59 in the 200 breast to follow up on her gold medal from Beijing.

The American set the world record in that swim in 2008, only to lose it one year later in the controversial world championship meet that was dominated by swimmers in now-illegal swimsuits. Soni got the record back on Wednesday when she went a 2:20.00 in the semifinals. Thursday's swim lowered the mark even further -- to 2:19.59 -- and helped Soni set a private goal.

"That one was for Tom," she told the BBC, referring to her favorite swim coach of her youth. "He was the first one who told me I was going to go a 2:19, but I was keeping that to myself as a secret. He believed in me more than any coach I've ever known."

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