Chalmers wins 50m, three more marks fall

Australia's Kyle Chalmers was crowned the fastest man in the pool at the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships, on a day when three world junior swimming records fell at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

Chalmers clocked 22.19 seconds to take the 50m free, ahead of the United States' Michael Andrew (22.36sec). Italy's Giovanni Izzo was third in 22.55sec yesterday.

There was also validation for Andrew, who is touted as the next big thing in US swimming. The youngster, who is entered in eight individual events, clinched his first gold of the meet when he won the 50m backstroke.

Chalmers' national team-mate Minna Atherton stayed on course to achieve a sweep of the backstroke events when she broke the 50m back mark in the heats, then lowered it in the evening's semi-final.

The Brisbane teenager became the first youth swimmer to go under 28 seconds in the event, timing 27.92sec to top the semi-final, bettering her mark of 28.00sec set in the morning heats.

She now holds two junior world records - the 50m back, and the 100m back, which she set on Wednesday.

She also won the 200m back on Thursday. The 50m back final takes place today.

Atherton, who looks up to Australia's world backstroke champion Emily Seebohm, said: "I just wanted to go as fast as I could. I might be able to (go faster). My dive could be improved; it was too deep."

Turkey's Viktoria Gunes notched the evening's second world junior record. Gunes, who had earlier won the women's 100m breaststroke, clocked 2min 11.03sec in the women's 200m individual medley, lowering her previous record of 2:11.46 set at the senior world championships earlier this month.

The US men's 4x200m freestyle relay team made a late dash for the record books when they clocked 7:13.76 in the evening's last race. This bettered the previous mark of 7:15.36 set by Britain in 2013.

After four days of racing, Australia lead the medal table with seven golds and five silvers.

The US are second with five golds, seven silvers and three bronzes, while Russia are third with four golds and eight bronzes.

In the morning's heats, the Singapore men's 4x200m freestyle relay team of Darren Chua, Dylan Koo, Chua Wei Feng and Francis Fong set a new national Under-17 mark when they clocked 7:48.24, demolishing the previous mark of 8:04.02 set in 2005.

Chua Siang Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'Chalmers wins 50m, three more marks fall'. Print Edition | Subscribe