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AFP
July 22, 2019

Tearful Sun roars to gold as Peaty crushes world record

Sports

AFP
July 22, 2019

GWANGJU, South Korea: China’s Sun Yang captured a record fourth 400 metres freestyle world title in an acrimonious final Sunday, before Britain’s Adam Peaty produced an eye-popping world breaststroke record.

Sun pumped his fists and let out a visceral roar after a pulsating race brimming with bad vibes and capped by rival Mack Horton’s refusal to join the Chinese giant on the podium after the medal ceremony in Gwangju.

“Not everyone likes me — I don’t care,” growled Sun when asked about Horton’s snub.

“It’s OK if you don’t respect me personally, but at the victory ceremony — which is a sincere occasion — you should show respect to my country.”

The controversial triple Olympic gold medallist slapped the water in delight, pointing to his flag-waving Chinese fans as he savoured an emotional victory over Australian Horton and his 10th world championship gold medal.

Sun’s latest career milestone comes after fresh allegations in a leaked FINA doping report that claimed the Chinese giant smashed blood samples with a hammer after being visited by testers last year.

The defending champion clocked three minutes, 42.44 seconds with Horton taking silver in 3:43.17 and Italian Gabriele Detti bronze in 3:43.23 in a repeat of the 2017 podium in Budapest.

As he climbed out of the pool, Sun bellowed at the crowd before breaking down in tears.

Peaty smashed his own 100 metres breaststroke world record, the Olympic champion storming home to win his semi-final in a time of 56.88 seconds — becoming the first swimmer to break the 57-second barrier and eclipsing his previous mark by more than two tenths.

The tattooed pin-up, who has not been beaten for five years over the 100 metres in major competition, turned 0.12 inside world record pace as fellow Briton James Wilby struggled to keep up.

“There’s no other word except for incredible,” said Peaty.

“I’ve been chasing that for three years now, ever since I touched that wall in Rio and I knew I could go faster.”

After the tension of Sun’s gold medal — the first of the eight-day pool competition — Aussie teenager Ariarne Titmus stunned American great Katie Ledecky to win the women’s 400m freestyle final.

The three-time champion looked in complete control until she faded coming off the final turn, allowing Titmus to storm past her to bag her first world title. “The time wasn’t a surprise,” said Titmus, who clocked 3:58.76 to beat Ledecky by more than a second

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