June 24, 2024

Aquatic World Championships: Ariarne Titmus and Leon Marchand break a world record

Leon Marchand beat the previous men’s 400m individual medley world record set by Michael Phelps (right) back in 2008

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus and France’s Leon Marchand both set new swimming world records on the opening day in the pool at the World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

Titmus, 22, won the elite women’s 400m freestyle final in a time of three minutes 55.38 seconds.

Marchand took 1.34 seconds off the last remaining world record held by Michael Phelps in the men’s 400m individual medley.

The 21-year-old’s time of 4:02.50 beat the mark set by Phelps in 2008.

“That was crazy,” said Marchand, who is set to be one of the faces of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“That was the most painful thing I’ve ever done. This is just crazy. The best is yet to come.”

Carson Foster of the United States came home more than four seconds behind Marchand in second place, while Japan’s Daiya Seto took bronze.

Olympic champion Titmus shaved 0.7 seconds off the previous record in the women’s 400m freestyle, set by Canada’s Summer McIntosh in March.

Defending world champion Katie Ledecky, 26, claimed silver, while New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather, 19, won bronze and McIntosh, 16, finished outside the medals in fourth.

“I was really excited for this race,” Titmus said as he returned to Japan, after winning gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I haven’t really done the best in the world since the Olympics. Katie and Summer always put up a great fight and I’m glad we could put on a show.”

The Australian team of Mollie O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Meg Harris and Emma McKeon also broke the world record in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, winning gold in 3:27.96, ahead of the United States and China. The British team of Anna Hopkin, Lucy Hope, Abbie Wood and Freya Anderson was fourth.

The Australian men’s 4x100m freestyle relay also won gold, while the British team were disqualified in the finals.

Earlier, Australia’s Sam Short, 19, won the first round of the championships, claiming gold in the men’s 400m freestyle after touching home just two hundredths of a second ahead of Tunisian Olympic champion Ahmed Hafnaoui, 20. Germany’s Lukas Martens, 21, won bronze.

And Britain’s Jacob Peters, 22, finished second in the men’s 50m butterfly semi-final, ahead of fourth-placed Ben Proud, 28, as both qualified for Monday’s final.

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