China’s Sun Yang secured a freestyle sweep in the long-distance races as he won the men’s 1,500m gold at the 15th FINA world championships on Sunday. Sun, who was also the defending champion and won gold in London at the Olympics last year, won in 14 minutes, 41.15 seconds to beat Canadian Ryan Cochrane by 1.33 seconds. Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri won bronze in 14:45.37.
Sun also won gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle races in Barcelona.
Earlier, Japan’s Daiya Seto became the first Asian winner of a medley world championship gold medal after winning the 400m individual medley. American Chase Kalisz came in second and Brazil’s Thiago Pereira third.
The 19-year-old powered home in the last 50m to clock a time of 4min, 08.69 sec with Kalisz at 0.53 and Pereira at 0.79, knocking Seto’s much-fancied teammate Kosuke Hagino off the podium.
And Seto acknowledged that with most of the attention focused on Hagino, he was able to come into the race with much less pressure.
“I knew everyone was expecting Hagino to win, but swimming next to him I was comfortable because I have done that in Japan and I knew I could win,” he said.
This event has been dominated in recent years by the American duo of Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps and Seto is hoping that he and Hagino can build on their success come the Rio Olympics in three years’ time.
Meanwhile, world record-holder Ruta Meilutyte was beaten in the final of the women’s 50m breaststroke by Yuliya Efimova.
France was handed a shock victory in the men’s 4x100m medley relay gold, with Australia second and Japan third, after defending champion USA was disqualified. Although Nathan Adrian of the USA touched the wall first, judges ruled Kevin Cordes had dived in too early on the second leg, causing the disqualification.
The French quartet clocked 3min, 31.51sec with Australia at 0.13 back and Japan 0.75 adrift.
Women: 4x100m medley: 1. U.S.A. (M. Franklin / J. Hardy / D. Vollmer / M. Romano) 3:53.23; 2. Australia (E.Seebohm / S. Foster / A. Coutts / C. Campbell) 3:55.22; 3. Russia (D. Ustinova / Y. Efimova / S. Chimrova / V. Popova) 3:56.47.
400m IM: 1. Katinka Hosszu (Hun) 4:30.41; 2. Mireia Belmonte (Esp) 4:31.21; 3. Elizabeth Beisel (U.S.A.) 4:31.69.
50m freestyle: 1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Ned) 24.05; 2. Cate Campbell (Aus) 24.14; 3. Francesca Halsall (GB) 24.30.
50m breaststroke: 1. Yuliya Efimova (Rus) 29.52; 2. Ruta Meilutyte (Lit) 29.59 3. Jessica Hardy (U.S.A.) 29.80.
Men: 1500m freestyle: 1. Sun Yang (Chn) 14:41.15; 2. Ryan Cochrane (Can) 14:42.48; 3. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Ita) 14:45.37.
400m IM: 1. Daiya Seto (Jap) 4:08.69; 2. Chase Kalisz (U.S.A.) 4:09.22; 3. Thiago Pereira (Bra) 4:09.48.
50m backstroke: 1. Camille Lacourt (Fra) 24.42; 2. Jeremy Stravius (Fra) 24.54 & Matthew Grevers (U.S.A.) 24.54.
4x100m medley: 1. France (C. Lacourt / G. Perez Dortona / J. Stravius / F. Gilot) 3:31.51; 2. Australia (A. Delaney / C. Sprenger / T. d’Orsogna / J. Magnussen) 3:31.64; 3. Japan (R. Irie / K. Kitajima / T. Fujii / S. Shioura) 3:32.26. — Agencies