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Israel's Anna Gostamelski fell only 18-hundredths of a second short of a bronze medal in the final of the women's 50-meter backstroke event at the World Short Course Championship in Shanghai yesterday.

The 24-year-old, who came in sixth in the 100 meters last week, finished fourth in yesterday's final, setting a new Israeli record of 27.46 seconds - an improvement of 27-hundredths of a second on her previous record of 27.73 seconds set in the semifinals on Saturday.

Germany's Janine Pietsch won the gold in 27.00 seconds, breaking Czech swimmer's Ilona Hlavackova's 2001 mark of 27.06 seconds. Tayliah Zimmer of Australia took the silver in a time of 27.25 seconds, and China's Jing Gao took the bronze in a time of 27.28 seconds.

"I'm very happy, very satisfied," Gostamelski said yesterday. "Within a day, I have managed to knock almost half a second off my 50-meter record. If there is one thing I am disappointed in it is the 100 meters because now I understand that I could have done better."

Gostamelski put her recent improvement down to her work with Slovenian coach Dimitri Manosevic.