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In the finals, both Alexandra Gerasimenya and Jeanette Ottesen from Denmark finished in 53.45 seconds, sharing first place. The Belarusian also renewed her national record. ‘Your wonderful success — achieved in a tough struggle against the strongest world athletes — shall occupy a worthy place in history, becoming a good example to follow’, reads the letter of congratulation sent by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to Alexandra Gerasimenya. ‘Having demonstrated mastery and determination, you’ve won gold for the Belarusian team, confirming that Belarus is a sporting state’. Alexandra has never before captured gold at a world championship but boasts a rich collection of awards from European events. At the 2010 European Championship — held in Budapest, she won gold in the 50m backstroke and silver in the 100m freestyle — her first award for an Olympic distance.