Performer of the day
Efimova was on top form in the 50m Breaststroke tonight clocking 30.38 in the semi-final (top 4 swimmers) and 30.35 in the final shootout against Rebecca Soni. Both times rattled Jane Edmistone's textile best time of 30.31 set in 2006 at Australian Nationals. Efimova moves into second spot all-time in a textile suit and her time is also the 16th fastest performance all-time in the 50 Breast. (She now has 5 of the top 16 swims in this event to her name). Efimova's best time is 30.05 set last year, the third fastest swim of all-time, behind Jessica Hardy's 29.80 and 29.95.
Efimova's margin of victory over Rebecca Soni was also eye-opening (0.69 secs). Whilst Soni had a strong meet herself and a far busier schedule than Efimova, the difference in pure speed on the 50m was noticeable. It is still too early to call Efimova the best 50m Breaststroker in the world, that honour will have to wait until Jessica Hardy swims at US Nationals and Pan Pacs, but Efimova has certainly staked her claim well.
I could have selected Paul Biedermann again for his impressive 1:46.82 in the 200 Free, but for the sake of variety and her impressive night I've gone with Camille Muffat.
Muffat begun the night with a narrow loss in the 400 Free. She led the race for 395m before being edged out by the fast-finishing Blair Evans (4:07.39 to 4:07.59). 4:07.59 is an excellent time, 11th in the world this year, but Muffat's night was not yet over. She returned to win the 200 IM later in the evening in a time of 2:11.59. Whilst the time was a second slower than Muffat swam at French Nationals, it was an impressive effort when you consider the 400 Free earlier.
Muffat, 20, has been swimming at the top level for a few years now but has never really broken through in international competition. With impressive times in the 200m Free, 400m Free and 200m IM so far this year, 2010 looks like the year the breakthrough happens.