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World Aquatics C’ships: Marchand claims second gold medal; O’Callaghan breaks women’s 200m freestyle world record

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Fukuoka (Japan), July 26 (IANS) France’s Leon Marchand claimed his second gold medal while Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan broke the women’s 200m freestyle world record at the World Aquatics Championships on Wednesday.

Leon Marchand made a big move by adding the men’s 200m butterfly title to his 400m individual medley victory.

The 21-year-old emerged victorious in 1:52.43. Poland’s 19-year-old Krzysztof Chmielewski finished second in 1:53.62. Tomoru Honda captured bronze, Japan’s second medal at the tournament, in 1:53.66, reports Xinhua.

Mollie O’Callaghan broke the women’s 200m freestyle world record as she led Australia to a 1-2 finish on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old hit the wall first in a time of one minute 52.85 seconds, taking 0.13 seconds off the previous world record of 1:52.98, set by Italy’s Federica Pellegrini on July 29, 2019.

Pellegrini was the oldest on the list of women’s long-course world records. The current longest-standing women’s world record belongs to China’s Liu Zige, who set the 200m butterfly mark of 2:01.81 on Oct. 21, 2019.

O’Callaghan’s compatriot Ariarne Titmus, the 400m freestyle winner, came in second with 0.16 seconds behind. Canada’s Summer McIntosh, 16, finished third in a world junior record of 1:53.65.

Iffland wins 3rd consecutive diving title

Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland claimed her third consecutive world women’s high diving title here on Wednesday.

The former cliff diver won her first gold medal in 2017 when high diving made its debut at the World Championships. She retained her title two years later in 2019 but had to wait for four years to complete the hat trick because the event was left off last year’s Budapest World Championships programme.

The 31-year-old scored 357.40 points across four rounds of dives. Canada’s Molly Carlson, this year’s World Cup winner, finished second with 322.80 and her compatriot Jessica Macaulay, bronze medalist of the 2019 worlds, took third with 320.95. A total of 20 divers competed in the event.

Hafnaoui wins men’s 800m freestyle

Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui clinched the men’s 800m freestyle title here on Wednesday. Hafnaoui, the Olympic 400m freestyle gold winner, touched home in seven minutes 37.00 seconds for the gold medal.

Australia’s Samuel Short, who beat Hafnaoui to second place in the 400m final in Fukuoka, finished second in 7:37.76. Defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke of the United States settled for bronze in 7:38.67.

China’s Qin lands second breaststroke title

Meanwhile, Qin Haiyang earned his second breaststroke title first and then guided China to their first mixed 4x100m medley relay victory on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old added the men’s 50m breaststroke gold medal to his 100m triumph two days ago. American Nic Fink, the defending champion, took silver and Qin’s fellow Chinese Sun Jiajun finished third.

After about an hour’s rest, Qin joined teammates Xu Jiayu, the 2017 and 2019 backstroke champion, Zhang Yufei, the 200m butterfly winner, and youngster Cheng Yujie to seal the relay title, beating Australia and the United States into second and third places.

Qin, who swam the second leg, thus became the first swimmer to win three gold medals at the Fukuoka world championships.

“I feel so amazing,” he said, adding that breaking the world record will be his next target.

But he acknowledged that he was very lucky to win the relay because he was very tired after the individual race. “I was not in good form because of the 50m breaststroke final. Fortunately thanks to my teammates’ excellent performance, we had the last laugh.”

Zhang, the third leg, said, “This is our time, it’s a great time. I have a beautiful and wonderful (team).”



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