Championship highlights

THE following are the highlights of the 10th World Swimming Championship:

A record number of 2015 competitors from 157 countries and territories participated in five disciplines — Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Diving and Water Polo with 62 gold medals at stake.

A total number of 186 medals were awarded. United States topped the medals tally with 12 golds, 13 silvers and six bronzes followed by Russia with 10 golds, five silvers and six bronzes. Australia which led the medals tally in the last championship at Fukuoka in 2001, finished third with eight golds, 12 silvers and six bronzes.

Over a dozen World, 36 Championships and 60 Continental records were set during the 15 days of competition.

American teenager Michael Phelps became the first swimmer ever to set five World records in a single championship. He achieved this feat by smashing his own World record on his way to victory in the men's 400-metre individual medley. The 18-year old clocked 4:09.09 to break the previous mark of 4:10.73 he set at Indianapolis on April 6, 2003. It was his fifth World record in the championship. His other records comprised one in the 200-metre butterfly, two in the 200-metre individual medley and one in the 100-metre butterfly. Phelps overtakes the previous best four World records by Mark Spitz at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Australian Ian Thorpe became the first swimmer-ever to win 10 gold medals in the World Championship when he successfully defended his men's 200-metre freestyle title in a time of 1:45.14.

Russian-born Irina Lashko, representing Australia, took the 1-metre spring board title. No Aussie woman had won a diving event before — either at the World Championship or the Olympics. The 30-year old Lashko had represented Russia when she won the World title in the same event five years ago.

Synchronised swimmer Virginie Dedieu earned France's first medal in the World Championship when she won the free solo competition.

Russian distance swimmer Yury Kudinov took his fourth straight title in major competition when he won the 25-kilometre Open water swim in 5 hours, 2 minutes, 20 seconds. Kudinov also won the 25-kilometre at the 2000 Open Water World Championship, the 2001 World Championship and the 2002 Open Water World Championship.

Edith Van Dijk became the first Dutch player to win a gold medal in World Championship when she won 25-kilometre Open water swim in 5 hours, 35 minutes and 43.5 seconds.

Australian Ian Thorpe became the first swimmer to win three straight World titles in the same event when he won the gold in 400 metre freestyle in a time of 3 minutes 42.58 seconds.

In the 100-metre breastroke semifinals, Japan's Kosuke Kitajima became only the second man to swim under a minute, finishing in 59.98 seconds. Roman Sloudnov of Russia, who holds the World record of 59.94 seconds, was the first to do so.

Eight time Olympic champion Jenny Thompson of United States captured her first major individual gold since 1998 when she won the women's 100-metre butterfly gold in a time of 57.96 seconds. All eight of Jenny's Olympics titles have come in relays.

American Aaron Peirsol won the men's 100-metre backstroke gold with a time of 53.61 seconds, just failing to equal compatriot Lenny Krayzelburg's world record by one hundredth of a second.

James Gibson won Britain's first gold medal in World Championship since 1975 by taking the 50-metre breaststroke title. Gibson clocked 27.56 seconds. Twenty-eight years ago, David Wilkie won both the 100 and 200 metres breaststroke for Britain.

The American team of Lindsay Benko, Rachel Komisarz, Rhiannon Jeffrrey and Diana Munz won the gold in women's 800 metres freestyle relay in 7:55.70 just 0.23 seconds behind the World mark set by the East German team in 1987. It is the oldest existing World record in women's swimming.

In 200-metre butterfly, Michael Phelps clocked one minute 54.34 seconds, slightly off his own World record time of 1:53.93 set in the semi-finals. The two timings are the fastest in the history.

Russian-born Nina Zhivanevskaya became the first Spanish woman in history to win a World championship gold medal by taking the 50-metre backstroke title in 28.48 seconds.

World record holder Aaron Peirsol posted the second fastest time ever in the 100-metre backstroke semi-finals in 1:55.82. The American's World record of 1:55.15 was set last year.

Michael Phelps became the first swimmer to set two World records in two different individual disciplines on the same day when he broke World marks in the 100-metre butterfly and 200-metre individual medley. Phelps shattered first record in 100-metre butterfly semi-finals in a time of 51.47 seconds. Andrii Serdinov of Ukraine had set this record only five minutes earlier in the first semi-finals. Later, Phelps bettered his own World record of 1:57.52 set in semi-finals of 200-metre individual medley by winning the event in 1 minute 56.04 seconds.

Grant Hackett became only the second person ever to win three consecutive World titles in the same event when he won his third straight 1500-metre freestyle title in 14:43.14. It was the third gold in this Championship and eighth overall for the 23-year-old from Queensland after the 800-metre freestyle and 4x 200 metres freestyle relay. Hackett is Olympic, World, Pan Pacific, Commonwealth and seven-time Australian champion and World record holder over the 1500 metres freestyle at both long and short course. He remains unbeaten in the event since 1997 with the best in 2001.

Hanna-Maria Seppala became the first Finnish woman to win a gold medal at the World Championship by taking the 100-metre freestyle title. Seppala finished in 54.37 seconds.

S. Pervez Qaiser