Sun, Ledecky reign supreme

Aquatics World Championship : Retain their 400M freestyle crown in splendid style; France shine in relay

Sun, Ledecky reign supreme
 China's Sun Yang defended his men's 400 metres freestyle title at the world championships on Sunday, the first of a possible four-gold sweep for the 23-year-old.

Sun, the five-times world champion, clocked three minutes 42.58 seconds to take gold as the Chinese powerhouse overtook Britain's James Guy in the closing stages.

Guy, fifth at this event in Barcelona two years ago, was ahead until the 300M mark, before a surging turn opened up a lead which he never relinquished, winning by 1.17 seconds.

Sun will compete in three more individual events this week, the 200M, 800M and 1,500M freestyle.

Katie Ledecky, the brilliant 18-year-old who graduated from high school in June, had a far easier final to negotiate as the American coasted to gold in the women's 400M freestyle.
Like Sun, Ledecky is also competing in four individual races and she put down a marker for the week by setting a championship record time of 3:59.13, several seconds clear of her rivals.

Sharon van Rouwendaal, of the Netherlands, took silver. Asked if she felt a lack of competition in her races, the defending champion said: "I think it's a very competitive event and I could feel the other girls racing really hard so that gets me going. It was a fast race.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom set the first world record of the eight-day meeting in the women's 100 metres butterfly.

Sjostrom's time of 55.74 seconds in the semifinal broke the previous record of 55.98 seconds set by Dana Vollmer, of the United States, at the London 2012 Olympics.

Australia won the women's 4x100M freestyle relay, with the Netherlands and the United States taking silver and bronze respectively. France denied Russia in the final event of the night, the men's 4x100M freestyle relay.

Indians disappoint 

Indian swimmers failed to leave a mark in the three events they took part in the championships.

In the men’s 400M freestyle, Saurabh Sangvekar failed to qualify for the final, finishing at the 60th position in a time of 4 minutes and 2.57 seconds in the heats.

Sandeep Sejwal, in men’s 100m breaststroke, failed to make it to the semifinals, as he finished the heats in 36th position in a time of 1 minute  and 2.17 seconds.

The Indian team also could not make it to the final of the men’s 4x100M freestyle relay.

Results: Men: 400M freestyle: Sun Yang (Chi) 3:42.58, 1; James Guy (Grb) 3:43.75, 2; Ryan Cochrane (Can) 3:44.59, 3.

4x100M freestyle relay: France (M Metella/F Manaudou/F Gilot/J Stravius) 3:10.74, 1; Russia (A Grechin/N Lobintsev/V Morozov/A Sukhorukov) 3:11.19, 2; Italy (L Dotto/M Orsi/M Santucci/F Magnini) 3:12.53, 3. 

Women: 400M freestyle: Katie Ledecky (US) 3:59.13, 1; Sharon van Rouwendaal (Neth) 4:03.02, 2; Jessica Ashwood (Aus) 4:03.34, 3. 

4x100M freestyle relay: Australia (E Seebohm/E McKeon/B Campbell/C Campbell) 3:31.48, 1; Netherlands (R Kromowidjojo/M Van der Meer/M Steenbergen/F Heemskerk) 3:33.67, 2; US (M Franklin/M Geer/L Neal/S Manuel) 3:34.61, 3.
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