Records tum­ble as Aus­tralian swim­mers strike dou­ble gold

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY RY­LAND JAMES

Katie Ledecky of the U.S. wrote swimming history again at the world cham­pi­onships on Tues­day as three records fell while Aus­tralia won back­stroke dou­ble gold.

Ledecky un­der­lined her sta­tus as the star of the Kazan pool by de­mol­ish­ing her own 1,500-me­ter freestyle record in Tues­day’s fi­nal, then qual­i­fied for Wed­nes­day’s 200-me­ter freestyle fi­nal less than 30-min­utes later.

She may have only just grad­u­ated from High School in Mary­land, but Ledecky broke a world record for the ninth time in two years when she shaved 2.23 sec­onds off her 1,500-me­ter per­sonal best to clock 15 min­utes 25.48 sec­onds.

“To­day was a re­ally tough day for me, I knew I was go­ing to have this dou­ble and I was pre­pared for it,” she said hav­ing al­ready bro­ken the 1,500-me­ter record in Mon­day morn­ing’s heats.

“It hurt a lot, but I got the job done and it feels re­ally, re­ally good right now.”

Ledecky’s ex­ploits came af­ter South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh had bro­ken the men’s 50-me­ter breast­stroke record in the morn­ing’s heats, only to see Bri­tain’s Adam Peaty swim a new record of 26.42 sec­onds in the evening’s semi.

It prom­ises to be another breast­stroke bat­tle royal be­tween the pair in Wed­nes­day’s 50-me­ter fi­nal as Van der Burgh swam 26.74 sec­onds in his semi.

“It’s go­ing to be a good fi­nal be­tween me and Cam as al­ways. We’ll put on a good show, I think,” promised Peaty, who beat the South African on the wall in Mon­day’s 100-me­ter fi­nal.

Guy’s Shock Win

The big­gest sur­prise of the night was James Guy’s stun­ning win in the 200-me­ter freestyle fi­nal as the Bri­ton beat China’s Sun Yang at the wall as the 19-year-old left some big names in his wake.

He was just 0.06 sec­onds ahead of China’s long-dis­tance ex­pert Sun who had to set­tle for sil­ver while Ger­many’s world record-holder Paul Bie­der­mann took bronze at 0.24 sec­onds.

Ryan Lochte of the U.S., who had led early on, was fourth at 0.69 sec­onds back.

“I never thought I’d race Ryan Lochte head-to-head like that, he is one of my he­roes,” grinned Guy, who is mak­ing his world cham­pi­onship de­but in Kazan.

“Be­ing world cham­pion hasn’t sunk in quite yet, I am so happy.”

The teenager adds gold to the sil­ver he won on Sun­day in the men’s 400-me­ter freestyle fi­nal when Sun re­tained his world ti­tle from Barcelona two years ago.

Sun can claim his sec­ond gold in Kazan when he looks to re­tain his 800-me­ter freestyle ti­tle in Wed­nes­day’s fi­nal.

Aus­tralia struck dou­ble gold as Mitchell Larkin and Emily See­bohm won the men’s and women’s 100-me­ter back­stroke fi­nals within min­utes of each other.

Larkin, 22, claimed his first world ti­tle while See­bohm bounced back from dis­lo­cat­ing her knee in a rid­ing ac­ci­dent in May to win her first in­di­vid­ual world ti­tle.

Larkin touched the wall at 52.40 sec­onds with France’s Camille La­court tak­ing sil­ver at 0.08 sec­onds back and Olympic cham­pion Matt Gre­vers earned bronze at 0.26 sec­onds.

See­bohm, who also won a re­lay gold on Sun­day, timed 58.26 sec­onds with team-mate Madi­son Wil­son tak­ing sil­ver at 0.49 sec­onds and the 23-year-old was in tears dur­ing the medal cer­e­mony when the Aus­tralian an­them was played.

Yuliya Efi­mova then won hosts Rus­sia’s first swimming gold, just five months af­ter com­plet­ing a 16-month ban for tak­ing steroids.

Efi­mova clocked one minute 05.66 sec­onds leav­ing Olympic cham­pion Ruta Meilu­tyte of Lithua­nia, who had led at the half­way stage, to set­tle for sil­ver at 0.70 sec­onds back with Ja­maica’s Alia Atkin­son earn­ing bronze at 0.76.

Meilu­tyte, 18, did not at­tend the post-fi­nal press con­fer­ence, as she went to be drugs tested, and none of the six ques­tions posed to Efi­mova in Rus­sian were about her ban.

Su­per Seven

Hungary’s Las­zlo Cseh is on course to win his first worlds gold medal for a decade as the fastest qual­i­fier into the men’s 200-me­ter but­ter­fly fi­nal on Wed­nes­day in 1:53.53.

But the world and Olympic cham­pion Chad le Clos of South Africa is right be­hind him at 0.97 sec­onds back in what prom­ises to be a fas­ci­nat­ing duel.

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