Swimming: Australia's Sprenger avenges Olympic defeat in world 100m breast final

BARCELONA (AFP) - Australia's Christian Sprenger gained revenge for his defeat in last year's Olympic final when he won the men's 100m breaststroke gold at the swimming world championships on Monday.

South Africa's Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh, who edged Sprenger into second in the Olympic final, was second and Brazil's Felipe Lima third.

Sprenger clocked 58.79sec, ahead of van der Burgh, the world record-holder, who was just 0.18sec behind, while Lima touched the wall at 59.65.

Having finished second to van der Burgh in the Olympic final exactly a year ago, the 27-year-old Sprenger took his revenge as he overhauled the South African, the halfway leader, on the return lap.

Van der Burgh's world record of 58.46sec was under threat at one point as Sprenger accelerated in the final 25 metres to win Australia's first gold in Barcelona.

There was no defending champion in this race as 2011 title-holder Alexander Dale Oen of Norway, a close friend of van der Burgh, died in April last year.

The 26-year-old suffered a heart attack, due to a previously undetected coronary disease, while at a training camp with his national team in the United States.