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Australian relay swimmers, Ariarne Titmus smash world records on golden night in Fukuoka

Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay team  were among the highlights on day one of the Fukuoka world championships.

Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay team were among the highlights on day one of the Fukuoka world championships. Photo: Getty

Australia’s women’s 4×100 metres freestyle relay team have set a world record, soon after compatriot Ariarne Titmus also posted a fresh global benchmark.

Australia claimed four of the five gold medals on offer on Sunday night in a triumphant start to pool competition at the world championships in Japan.

A fearless Titmus said recapturing her women’s 400 metres freestyle world record was more satisfying than winning Olympic gold, after she blew away her feted rivals in a stunning triumph.

Soon afterwards, women’s relayers Mollie O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Meg Harris and Emma McKeon bettered the world mark set by Australia at the Tokyo Olympics of 2021.

The Aussie women clocked three minutes 27.96 seconds, well inside the previous record of 3 minutes 29.69 seconds.

Australia’s men’s 4x100m relay team of Jack Cartwright, Flynn Southam, Kai Taylor and Kyle Chalmers, collected gold in the next race.

The feats of the relayers came after Titmus literally left American great Katie Ledecky and Canada’s 16-year-old sensation Summer McIntosh in her wake in their much-hyped final in Fukuoka.

Titmus clocked three minutes 55.38 seconds, bettering McIntosh’s world mark of 3:56.08 set last March.

Leading from start to finish, Titmus touched the wall an emphatic 3.35 seconds ahead of Ledecky, with McIntosh third 4.21 seconds off the pace.

The trio have all held the world record in the past 18 months – from Ledecky, to Titmus, then McIntosh, and now again to Titmus, who has the word ‘fearless; tattooed on her right foot.

“I can see it right before I dive,” she said.

“To swim like that and swim really free and fearless, I feel really over the moon to get that one.

“Summer and Katie are world record holders so I feel like the only way to beat them was to try and take it out and see who had the most fight and the most left in the tank at the end – and it worked.”

Earlier, Sam Short set Australia’s dominant tone by winning the men’s 400m freestyle – the first gold medal on offer.

Short adds his name to a rich Australian list of world champions in the 400m freestyle featuring legends Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Kieren Perkins.

“They’re my heroes,” Short said.

“I couldn’t wait to get on the lane rope and start flexing to be honest.

“It’s what you dream about as a young guy.”

Short’s winning time of 3:40.68 is the fourth-fastest ever and just 0.61 seconds outside of German great Paul Biedermann’s world record set 14 years ago.

-AAP

Topics: Australia
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