The Aussies celebrate gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
The Aussies celebrate gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Aussies set two shock world records in the pool

AUSTRALIA is turning the world swimming championships into their private pool party - setting two world records last night to take our gold medal tally to four and the overall tally to 11.

Australia beat the United States to win the women's 4x200m freestyle relay gold medal after a dogfight from start to finish with both teams breaking the old world record set by China at the 2009 world championships when the now-banned super suits were allowed.

But it was the Aussie foursome of Ariarne Titmus, Madison Wilson, Brianna Throssell and Emma McKeon that got their first.

McKeon, who was so sick a few days ago she pulled out of the individual 200m final a few days ago, showed she has the heart of a lion when she overhauled Katie McLaughlin on the final leg.

"Just touching the wall and seeing the three others celebrate, it made me so excited," McKeon said.

"I wasn't thinking about a world record, that was the key. Was it a 2009 record? To break that this year is so exciting.

"I was hurting a lot but when it comes to a relay you really give it you all."

Titmus picked up her second gold after winning the 400m freestyle on Sunday and posted the fastest split (1:54.27) of any swimmer in the race after rebounding from the disappointment of finishing second in the 200m individual race to veteran Italian Federica Pellegrini.

"I really wanted to do my job for the girls," Titmus said.

"If we really wanted to have a crack at the world record I would have to play my part. My time in the individual, I thought I could improve on that so I'm happy to do a PB."

Elated: Ariarne Titmus, Brianna Throsell and Madison Wilson (behind) embrace Emma McKeon after winning the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Picture: AP/Mark Schiefelbein
Elated: Ariarne Titmus, Brianna Throsell and Madison Wilson (behind) embrace Emma McKeon after winning the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Picture: AP/Mark Schiefelbein

Titmus also had the added bonus of posting another victory over her chief rival, American Katie Ledecky, who experienced the bittersweet feeling of breaking a world record but finishing second.

"It just cool whenever you broke the world record," Ledecky said.

"We know we swam one of the fastest times ever so it was pretty cool."

Ledecky pulled out of the individual 200m after losing to Titmus in the 400m and falling ill but said she was fully recovered and will start in today's 800m freestyle heats.

"We don't know exactly caused this all but just feeling the effects of dehydration, loss of appetite, light headedness, just a lot of different things to be honest," she said.

"It just kind of created a perfect storm that pulled me out. It wouldn't have pulled out if wasn't serious if I was concerned and scared and worried about my health."

Australia's gold medal tally is now at four and could swell even higher tonight with Campbell and McKeon both in the women's 100m freestyle final and Sydney's Matthew Wilson stunned everyone when he equalled the men's 200m breaststroke world record of 2:06.67, held by Japan's Ippei Watanabe.

Wilson had threatened to break the record several times before but always died on the last lap but not last night.

"I was just trying to get my hand on the wall and get in the final," he said.

"Anything after that was a bonus. I mean a world record is a pretty big bonus.

"It's probably because I was just a bit more rested quite honestly.

 

Matt Wilson can’t quite believe he has equalled the world record.
Matt Wilson can’t quite believe he has equalled the world record.

"I've just been more relaxed through my first 100. I wasn't as relaxed as I would have liked so that's something to work on.

"Being relaxed, I can come home faster in that last 50m for the past few times I've raced the 200m."

Now the trick for Wilson is to do it again and win the gold but he has a secret plan to keep his nerves in control.

"I'll just go back and I'll probably watch the footy when I get back, the Sharks are playing, that's my team," he said.

"They weren't going very well last time I checked but I'll do that and it'll take my mind off the swimming.

"I don't want to waste energy thinking about the final so I'll just find something to take my mind off it."