Australian women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team captures gold with world record

Brianna Throssell, Mollie O'Callaghan, Shayna Jack and Ariarne Titmus celebrate their gold and world record.

Brianna Throssell, Mollie O'Callaghan, Shayna Jack and Ariarne Titmus celebrate their gold and world record. Photo: Getty

Australia’s swimmers continue their Fukuoka feast, with the women’s 4×200 metres freestyle relay team setting a world record amid three more gold medals at the world championships.

Kyle Chalmers (100 metres freestyle), the invincible relayers and Kaylee McKeown (50 metres backstroke) all saluted on Thursday night.

Australia’s gold medal tally rose to nine – the nation’s most at any world titles since 2007.

Liz Dekkers also collected a 200 metres butterfly silver medal, while the women’s relayers created Australia’s third world record of the meet.

Relay teammates Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus have been involved in two of the benchmarks, following their records in the 200 metres freestyle and 400 metres freestyle respectively.

O’Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Brianna Throssell and Titmus sizzled in the 4×200 metres relay, clocking seven minutes 37.50 seconds to eclipse Australia’s previous world record of 7:39.29 at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Chalmers joy

The achievement came shortly after Chalmers said he was intent on appreciating his 100 metres freestyle world title more than his shock Olympic gold seven years ago.

The 25-year-old triumphed with a trademark last-lap surge – turning in seventh, he powered to the finish to win in 47.15 from American Jack Alexy (47.31).

“I have had to work so much harder for that moment,” Chalmers said.

“Obviously, 2016 (Olympics) I was an 18-year-old kid and, to be honest, I didn’t really know what I achieved in that moment.

“I have had to work so hard for seven years, sacrifice so much, go through heart surgery, shoulder surgeries, some pretty bad mental health times throughout this last little period.

“So I know how much it means to me, my family, my friends.”

Chalmers was desperate to complete his collection which includes Olympic, Commonwealth Games and world short-course gold in the event.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have doubt in mind at times that I would be able to achieve that,” he said.

McKeown does double

Kaylee McKeown set an Australian record in winning the 50m backstroke on Thursday. Photo: Getty

McKeown set an Australian record in winning the 50 metres backstroke, adding to her 100 metres backstroke title two nights ago.

She clocked 27.08, inside her previous benchmark of 27.16 set in 2021, to pip American rival Regan Smith (27.11).

Dekkers took silver in the 200 metres butterfly in 2:05.46 with Canadian 16-year-old Summer McIntosh taking the gold medal in 2:04.06.

In the women’s 100 metres freestyle semi-finals, Australia’s reigning world champion O’Callaghan and Emma McKeon both advanced to Friday night’s final.

O’Callaghan, a night after setting a 200 metres freestyle record, won her semi in 52.86 and, in the same semi-final, McKeon finished third in 53.00.

In the men’s 200 metres breaststroke semi-finals, Australia’s world record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook was fastest qualifier for the medal race in a time of 2:07.27.

Abbey Harkin (2:23.65) secured her berth in Friday night’s 200 metres breaststroke final while Brad Woodward advanced to the men’s 200 metres backstroke final in a time of 1:56.16.


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