Swimming: Denmark's Pedersen breaks women's 200m breaststroke world record

BARCELONA (REUTERS, AFP) - Rikke Pedersen of Denmark set a world record in the women's 200 metres breaststroke in her semi-final at the swimming world championships in Barcelona on Thursday.

Pedersen, 24, clocked 2min 19.11sec to beat the previous mark of 2:19.59 set by American Rebecca Soni at the Olympic Games in London last year.

The Dane, whose previous best was 2:20.53, finished fourth in London and was seventh at the last world championships in Shanghai two years ago.

"It was very fast," Pedersen said in an interview with television broadcaster Eurosport.

"I am really happy with the personal best and I really hope I can improve in the final (on Friday)."

Earlier this week, Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte broke the women's 100m breaststroke record and Katie Ledecky of the USA knocked nearly six seconds off the women's 1,500m freestyle record.