Peirsol regains record

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Newport Harbor High product Aaron Peirsol reclaimed his world record in the 100-meter backstroke and became the first man to swim faster than 52 seconds when he won the event at the 2009 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships Wednesday night.

The three-time Olympian’s time of 51.94 seconds earned Peirsol a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the upcoming World Championships in Rome.

“It was a beautiful race,” Peirsol said in a statement. “I knew I could do something special [Wednesday]. I’m a little speechless. I’ve said it before: Anyone can win a gold medal or set a world record at any time. There’s something to be said for consistency.”

Peirsol, 25, won the 100 backstroke at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, as well as the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

He has five gold medals and two silver medals at the Olympics and claimed gold in the 100 backstroke in the last three world championships (2007, 2005 and 2003).

He lives in Austin, Texas and swims for Longhorn Aquatics.

— From staff reports

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