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Swimming, Day 1 - Men’s 400m free: Yang Sun (CHN) confirms credentials
In the first swimming final of the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Yang Sun (CHN), the best performer of the season and the fastest of the heats, was the man to beat. And no one managed to beat him in the decisive race… The 2012 Olympic gold medallist in the 400m and 1500m free perfectly controlled the race and got the gold in 3:41.59, bettering the time of 3:42.93 he had swum in April at the National Championships in Zhengzhou.
Sun had a very solid first half of the race, cruising at the 200m-mark under the World Record pace (-0.47), but at the end he couldn’t approach his personal best of 3:40.14, his winning time at the London Olympics.
The silver went to Kosuke Hagino in 3:44.82, his first medal at World Championships; the 18-year-old Japanese swimmer had been bronze medallist at the 2012 Games in the 400m IM, and improved in Barcelona his personal best of 3:45.42. Connor Jaeger (USA) got the bronze in 3:44.85, also a first for him at this level. Ryan Cochrane (CAN) couldn’t reach the podium: the 2011 silver medallist in the 800m and 1500m free was fourth in 3:45.02.
World Record: Paul Biedermann (GER), 3:40.07 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Championships Record: Paul Biedermann (GER), 3:40.07 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Yang Sun (CHN), 3:41.59 – July 28, 2013 in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Ian Thorpe (AUS, 3:42.58); 2005 – Grant Hackett (AUS, 3:42.91); 2007 – Tae-Hwan Park (KOR, 3:44.30); 2009 – Paul Biedermann (GER, 3:40.07); 2011 – Tae-Hwan Park (KOR, 3:42.04)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Ian Thorpe (AUS, 1998, 2001 & 2003)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Yang Sun (CHN, 3:40.14), 2. Tae-Hwan Park (KOR, 3:42.06), 3. Peter Vanderkaay (USA, 3:44.69)
Gold medal winner: Sun Yang (CHN)
"This is an important medal for me, I have overcome many problems this year and tonight I still won a gold medal so I give all my appreciation to the people who are supporting me."
"I am very satisfied with my performance tonight, I hope to have an even better performance in the coming days."
"My challenge is to come back to my best level."
Silver medal winner: Kosuke Hagino (JPN)
"I'm actually not satisfied with the time but to get the silver medal is a good result, I felt great in the water, so I'm happy."
Bronze medal winner: Connor Jaeger (USA)
"It's my first international medal and I really feel like I won. The atmosphere and the adrenaline were incredible. It's the first medal for Team USA and I hope more medals come soon."