Swimming, Day 4 - Men's 800m freestyle: Second world gold for Sun

BCN2013 - Swimming

Yang Sun (CHN)Double Olympic champion Yang Sun (CHN) secured his second gold medal of the 15th FINA World Championships, waiting till the end to cut loose and claim the 800m freestyle title. Sun, who won the 400m freestyle world crown on Day 1 and will seek to make it a golden treble in the 1500m, did just enough to remain slightly ahead of his rivals for most of the race. He was content to stay less than a second in front for 700 metres before pulling away in the last 100 metres to win in 7:41.36, with his three closest competitors - two Americans and a Canadian - fighting it out for the two remaining medals.

Silver went to Michael McBroom (USA), who came through in the second half of the race and finished in 7:43.60. Ryan Cochrane (CAN) won the battle for bronze, touching in 7:43.70 ahead of the second American, Connor Jaeger, who clocked 7:44.26. That reversed their placings in the 400m, when Jaeger collected the bronze. Sun was well outside the 7:32.12 world mark set by compatriot Lin Zhang in Rome in 2009, when he became first Chinese man to win a swimming title at the long-course World Championships.

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It was Cochrane's third world medal in this non-Olympic event, following bronze in 2009 and silver in 2011. Cochrane, the 2012 Olympic 1500m freestyle silver medallist, also collected world silver medals in the 1500 in 2009 and 2011. Oussama Mellouli (TUN), the only man to have won Olympic titles in both pool and open water, finished eighth and last in 7:52.79. Mellouli, gold medallist in the open water 5km and bronze medallist in the 10km in Barcelona, won the Olympic 1500m freestyle in 2008 and the Olympic 10km open water race in 2012.

World Record: Lin Zhang (CHN), 7:32.12 – July 29, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Championships Record: Lin Zhang (CHN), 7:32.12 – July 29, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Yang Sun (CHN), 7:41.36 – July 31, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Grant Hackett (AUS, 7:43.82); 2005 – Grant Hackett (AUS, 7:38.65); 2007 – Przemyslaw Stanczyk, (POL, 7:47.91); 2009 – Lin Zhang (CHN, 7:32.12); 2011 – Yang Sun (CHN, 7:38.57)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Grant Hackett (AUS, 2003 & 2005)
Not in the Olympic programme


QUOTES:

Gold medal winner: Sun Yang (CHN)

On crying on the podium: "That's the way I express myself. No matter if I win or lose, I always get very emotional."

"I changed my mind right before the deadline to apply for the swimming events, I wanted to prove myself in this race, I felt I had the power to defend this title for my country, I wanted this title to remain in Chinese hands."

"The pressure comes both from the outside and inside. After swimming at many international meets, I'm now able to adjust myself, I gained from my experience, also thanks to the support from my friends and family."

Silver medal winner: Michael McBroom (USA)

"I'm excited with the silver. I just wanted to come here and put down the best swim that I could and I think I did that."

Bronze medal winner: Ryan Cochrane (CAN)

"It was hard coming back from the 400m (where he finished fourth). The 800m was a good swim. It was a couple of seconds from what I wanted it to be but I made the podium so I'm happy. I was expecting this medal but I knew I had to fight hard to get here."

"At Worlds, anything can happen and anybody has a chance on the podium."