Aussie 'Terminator' smashes record

SHANGHAI • The "Terminator" will be back to make a splash in the women's 4x200m freestyle today and Australia will surely fancy their chances given the form she is in.

Ariarne Titmus, whose nickname is derived from the cyborg protagonist in the movie series, broke the short-course 400m freestyle record yesterday to grab her second gold medal at the World Swimming Championships.

There was a surprise in the men's 50m freestyle when Caeleb Dressel, who has been likened to swim legend Michael Phelps, was beaten into silver by Vladimir Morozov.

The 26-year-old Russian, champion in 2012 and second in 2016, put the golden boy of American swimming into the shadows, touching the wall in 20.33sec, 0.21 ahead.

The Englishman Ben Proud, one of the favourites, was disqualified, leaving the bronze to Bradley Tandy of South Africa in 20.94.

In a battle of talented teenagers in the 400m, the 18-year-old Titmus blasted away the twin challenge of 16-year-old home hopefuls Wang Jianjiahe and Li Bingjie in Hangzhou. She won in 3min 53.92secs, narrowly improving on Wang's 3:53.97 clocked in October.

Wang settled for silver, 0.64sec back, with Li a distant 4.07sec off.

This was Australia's second gold of the tournament, with Titmus also getting on the winners' podium in the 200m freestyle in an Australian and Oceania record time of 1:51.38 on Tuesday.

It has been a breakthrough year for Titmus, who bagged three golds at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

"I hadn't raced since Day 1 so it was nice to blow the cobwebs off," she said.

Despite Dressel's disappointment, the United States have been dominant and, with the 22-year-old on the first leg, broke the men's 4x50m free world mark in 1:21.80 for their 10th gold. Russia (1:22.22) were second and Italy (1:22.90) third.

China's three-gold Olympian Sun Yang is not competing in individual events but was in the 4x200m free team. He was given the biggest cheer of the night and the hosts briefly led the race before settling for bronze (6:47.53) behind Russia (6:46.84) and Brazil, who won in a world mark of 6:46:81.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2018, with the headline 'Aussie 'Terminator' smashes record'. Print Edition | Subscribe