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Mollie O’Callaghan breaks longest-standing women’s record with 200m freestyle win

Australia's Mollie O'Callaghan is, without a doubt, the world's best swimmer.

Australia's Mollie O'Callaghan is, without a doubt, the world's best swimmer. Photo: AP

Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan has broken the longest-standing world record in women’s swimming in winning the 200 metres freestyle at the world championships.

O’Callaghan claimed her second gold medal, and first world record, of the meet in Fukuoka by clocking one minute 52.85 seconds in Wednesday night’s final.

The previous benchmark in the event was 1:52.98, set by Italian Federica Pellegrini in the supersuit era in 2009.

“To come out with the world record was really unexpected,” O’Callaghan said.

“I was a wreck afterwards.

“I kind of looked (at the results board) and I was a bit like ‘oh, is that me or not?’ I couldn’t really explain it in the moment.

“There was tears, there was happiness, very mixed emotions.

“I am just so proud of myself to do that. It was such an unexpected moment.”

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus claimed the silver medal in 1:53.01 after being overtaken by O’Callaghan in the final lap.

In the men’s 800m freestyle final, Australia’s Sam Short also won his second medal of the meet in Japan, adding silver in the 800m freestyle title to his earlier 400m freestyle triumph.

Short clocked the quickest time by an Australian – 7:37.76, eclipsing the national record of 7:38.65 set by Grant Hackett in 2005.

Short led with 50m remaining but was overtaken on the last lap by Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui, who won in 7:37.00.

Australia’s Kyle Chalmers qualified second-fastest for the men’s 100m freestyle titles, posting 47.52 in his semi-final.

Compatriot Kaylee McKeown was second-quickest into the women’s 50m backstroke final, logging a time of 27.26 in her Wednesday night semi.

The Australian team now has six gold and two silver medals at the titles.

-AAP
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