Qin Haiyang of China set a new world record in the men’s 200 metres breaststroke event, winning the gold medal in a time of 2:05.48s at the swimming world championships on Friday.
Qin shattered the record of 2:05.95 set by Australian Zac Stubblety-Cook at the 2022 Australian championships in Adelaide. He finished 0.92 seconds ahead of silver medallist Stubblety-Cook. Matt Fallon of the United States took bronze.
Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan stormed to victory in the women’s 100 metres freestyle race, capturing gold in a time of 52.16 seconds to defend her title and complete a sprint double.
Australia had dominated the event with three titles in the previous five championships thanks to victories by O’Callaghan at Budapest in 2022, Bronte Campbell at Kazan in 2015 and Cate Campbell at Barcelona in 2013.
The 19-year-old O’Callaghan ensured that fine run continued by finishing strongly after a sluggish start to edge out Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong, who grabbed silver in 52.49 seconds.
O’Callaghan became the first woman to win the 100m and 200m titles at the same worlds.
“I came into this week wanting to have fun and enjoy it and learn. To have achieved so much is an incredible feeling,” said an emotional O’Callaghan, who overcame a knee problem to set a world record en route to the 200m title on Wednesday.
“Having fun is the most important part. Going into previous meets, I was just so nervous all the time and worrying and this is the first time that I’ve actually felt quite calm and just enjoying every little bit.”
Friday’s triumph was O’Callaghan’s fourth gold of the meet, following wins as part of Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay teams - also in record times.
Marrit Steenbergen of the Netherlands set the 100m pace in the semifinals but had to be content with bronze after coming home 0.55 seconds behind the winner. Australia’s Olympic champion Emma McKeon was fifth with 52.83.
In the women’s 200m breaststroke, South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker set the benchmark with the quickest semifinal time and the 26-year-old cruised to her first gold of this year’s meet after a silver over 100m earlier this week.
The Olympic champion touched the wall in 2:20.80 seconds with Kate Douglass of the United States second and Tes Schouten of the Netherlands rounding off the podium. American Lilly King, the 2022 champion, was fourth.
Hungary’s Hubert Kos then dethroned American Ryan Murphy to win the men’s 200m backstroke crown in 1:54.14. Murphy had led through the first half of the contest but ran out of steam to finish 0.69 seconds behind for silver.
Swiss Roman Mityukov was more than a second slower in taking bronze.
Australia will look to boost its gold medal tally further in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, with the US, Italy and Britain set to challenge in the day’s final race.
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