Sun Yang wins 2nd straight 200 meter freestyle
Racing in the fourth lane, Sun got off to a slow start, ranking seventh in the first 50 meters. Sun slowly made his way up to fifth by 100 meters, before finally taking the lead at the 150-meter point, clocking one minute and 18.33 seconds.
Sun finished his race at one minute and 44.93 seconds to successfully defend his title in the 200 meter freestyle and win the event for the second straight World Championships.
Although Sun initially finished second, the decision was quickly reversed, as Danas Rapsys of Lithuania, the initial winner, was disqualified right after the race.
It was Sun’s second gold in Gwangju after he won the men’s 400 meter freestyle on Sunday, and marks his 11th gold overall at the World Championships.
Katsuhiro Matsumoto of Japan won silver by finishing at one minute and 45.22 seconds followed by Martin Malyutin of Russia and Duncan Scott of Britain.
Meanwhile, Simona Quadarella of Italy won gold in the women’s 1,500 meter freestyle.
Quadarella took the lead at 150 meters at one minute and 30.84 seconds and continued to lead the pack in the remaining laps to finish at 15 minutes and 40.89 seconds, a good 7.94 seconds ahead of the silver medalist.
“This night was amazing,” Quadarella said. “It’s incredible. It seems unreal for me.”
Gold is a great improvement for Quadarella, who finished with a bronze during the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. It’s her first-ever gold at the World Championships.
Sarah Kohler of Germany won silver by finishing in 15 minutes and 48.83 seconds followed by Wang Jianjiahe of China with 15 minutes and 51.00 seconds.
This is Kohler’s second medal in Gwangju, as she also won gold in the mixed 5 kilometer open water team relay.
Defending champion Katie Ledecky, the world record holder and winner of the last three World Championships titles in the event, did not compete in the final.
In women’s 100 meter backstroke, Kylie Masse of Canada continued her dominance in the event.
Racing in the fourth lane, Masse had the quickest reaction time of 0.57 seconds, but that wasn’t enough for her to keep her lead up to the 50-meter point, as she was tied for fourth at 28.56 seconds. Yet in the last 50 meters of the race, Masse picked up her pace to finish 0.25 second ahead of the silver medalist, clocking 58.60 seconds.
With the win, Masse successfully defended her title in the event. During the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Masse set a new Championship record of 58.10 seconds.
Minna Atherton of Australia won silver, clocking 58.85 seconds, followed by Olivia Smoliga of the United States winning a bronze by finishing the race in 58.91 seconds.
Following the women’s race, Xu Jiayu of China won the men’s 100 meter backstroke.
Xu reached the halfway point of the race, 50 meters, in third at 25.22 seconds. He then sped up in the second half to successfully defend his title, clocking a time of 52.43 seconds.
During the semifinals, Xu set a new championship record of 52.17 seconds.
Evgeny Rylov of Russia picked up silver by finishing his race in 52.67 seconds, followed by Mitchell Larkin of Australia who finished his race in 52.77 seconds.
Finishing day three of swimming in Gwangju, Lilly King of the United States picked up gold in the women’s 100 meter breaststroke.
King got off to a strong start by taking the lead at the halfway point, clocking 30.29 seconds. She maintained her lead in the remaining 50 meters to win gold, finishing in one minute and 04.93 seconds.
With the win, King successfully defended her title. She is also the world and championship record holder in the women’s 100 meter breaststroke, at one minute and 4.13 seconds. The record was set during the 2017 World Championships in Budapest.
Yuliya Efimova of Russia won silver by finishing her race in one minute and 5.49 seconds, followed by Martina Carraro of Italy, who won bronze by clocking in at one minute and 6.36 seconds.
BY KANG YOO-RIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]