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Long Beach's Hardy Wins at World Championships

The U.S. women's 400 meter freestyle team in Istanbul, of which Hardy swam the secnd leg, took the gold medal.

Jessica Hardy of Long Beach won a gold medal as part
of the U.S. women's 400 meter freestyle team at the 2012 FINA Swimming World Championships in Istanbul Sunday, while Tom Shields of Huntington Beach won a bronze medal in the men's 50 butterfly.

Hardy swam the second leg of the relay in 53.32 seconds.

The U.S. led after Megan Romano of St. Petersburg. Fla. swam the opening
leg in 52.86 and fell into second behind Australia after Hardy's leg. The
U.S. regained the lead after Lia Neal of Brooklyn, N.Y., swam the third leg in
52.44. Allison Schmitt of Canton, Mich. swam the final leg in 52.39.

The U.S. was timed in 3:31.01, 1.89 ahead of second-place Australia.

The medal was Hardy's second of the meet. She won a bronze medal in the
400 medley relay Friday. Hardy finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke earlier today, seventh in the women's 100 freestyle Friday and fifth in the 50 breaststroke Thursday.

"Learned a few lessons after not so great week of racing for me,'' Hardy wrote on her Twitter account.

The 25-year-old Hardy won a gold medal in the 400 medley relay and a
bronze in the 400 freestyle relay in the London Olympics. She graduated from
Long Beach's Wilson High School in 2005. 

Shields set an American record of 22.46 in the 50 butterfly, breaking
his previous record of 22.58 set Friday in a semifinal. Nicholas Santos of
Brazil won in 22.22 while Chad Le Clos of South Africa was second in 22.26. The 21-year-old Shields won a silver medal in the 100 butterfly
Thursday. He is a 2009 graduate of Edison High School.

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