KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu underlined her status as the leading all-round swimmer with a world record in the women’s 200 meters individual medley at the world championships on Monday.
On a day when two other world records fell -- to Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom in the 100 meters butterfly final and American Katie Ledecky in the 1,500m freestyle heats -- 2014 Swimmer of the Year Hosszu powered to gold in two minutes 6.12 seconds.
The 26-year-old shaved 0.03 seconds off the previous mark set by American Ariana Kukors at the 2009 world championships.
Japan’s Kanako Watanabe took silver, 2.33 seconds behind Hosszu, while Britain’s Siobhan O‘Connor claimed bronze.
“Obviously, the record was on my mind, it was my goal,” Hosszu told reporters. “It was just perfect.”
Sjostrom set her second world record in 24 hours in coasting to the women’s 100 metres butterfly title.
Her time of 55.64 seconds broke her previous mark of 55.74, set in the semi-finals on Sunday when she became only the second woman to dip below 56 seconds.
“I am really happy I could show myself, show that I can swim fast even with all of that pressure,” she said.
Ledecky clocked 15 minutes 27.71 seconds in the 1,500m to beat her previous world best set at the Pan Pacific Championships in August 2014.
Britain’s Adam Peaty secured his first world title in the men’s 100m backstroke after a whirlwind 12 months on the international scene.
The 20-year-old world record holder claimed gold from Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa in 58.52 seconds, overtaking the Olympic champion in the final three strokes to win by 0.07 seconds and add to his European and Commonwealth collection. Ross Murdoch, of Britain, won bronze.
“I turned and I saw his feet and I though ‘right, I’ve got some catching up to do now,” said Peaty, who holds the world record of 57.92 seconds.
“With 25 metres to go he was still out in front but I have trained for moments like this.”
Florent Manadou of France won the men’s 50m butterfly, touching in 22.97 seconds to beat Brazil’s Nicolas Santos.
Mitchell Larkin of Australia will be favorite to win the men’s 100m backstroke after qualifying fastest for Tuesday’s final, so too compatriot Emily Seebohm who advanced to the women’s 100m backstroke with the fastest time.
American Ryan Lochte qualified fastest for the men’s 200m freestyle final.
Starting from lane one, having labored to a semi-final berth in 13th place, the multiple world champion led from the outset to post 1:45.36, edging Briton’s James Guy out by 0.07 seconds as fastest qualifier.
Yuliya Efimova, competing in her first major competition since her doping ban ended in February, topped qualification for the women’s 100m breaststroke final.
Editing by Martyn Herman