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Micky Malul finished sixth in the 50-meter breaststroke final at the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne yesterday. Malul finished in a time of 28.19 seconds to equal the best ever finish for an Israeli swimmer at a world championship final - Vered Borochovski's sixth place finish in the 50-meter butterfly in 2003.

Malul, however, can feel disappointed as had he repeated his Israeli record of 27.72 in the qualifying heats, it would have been enough to earn him the bronze medal, which in the end went to South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh with a time of 27.88 seconds. Oleg Lisogor of Ukraine took gold in 27.66, three hundredth of a second ahead of American Brendan Hansen.

The other Israelis in the competition continued to disappoint.

Shai Livnat set a personal best of 50.79 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle but that was good enough only for 55th place. Itai Chima came in 96th at the same distance in a time of 54.30.

Ania Gostamelski came in 30th in the women's 50-meter backstroke with a time of 29.84 seconds and tomorrow's 200-meter backstroke will be the last chance for her to make good after a disappointing championships.