Siobhan Haughey (C) alongside Sarah Sjostrom (L) and Abbey Weitzeil after the women’s 100m freestyle final at the Fina World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Spectators witnessed an incredible day of action at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) with three championship records broken at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena on Saturday.
Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (100m freestyle), China’s Bingjie Li (800m freestyle) and Netherlands (mixed 4x50m medley relay) proved to be too good for their opponents, winning gold medals to record new marks in the prestigious global event.
For the second time in three days, Haughey made history as she produced an impressive performance to win the world title in 50.98 seconds. Sweden’s Sarah Sjoestroem and USA’s Abbey Weitzeil clinched silver and bronze respectively.
It was the second gold medal for Haughey in Abu Dhabi following her world record victory in the 200m freestyle on Thursday, meaning the 24-year-old becomes the first woman to complete the 100m/200m freestyle double at a single world championships in either long course or short course.
“It’s amazing to win as this is my first short course world championship and to have two gold medals so far is really good. I’m really happy with how everything is going so far,” she said.
Li came out on top in her 800m freestyle race, clocking 8:02.90, nearly four seconds ahead of Russian Swimming Federation’s Anastasiia Kirpichnikova and Italy’s Simona Quadarella.
Fans did not have to wait too long for another record to fall as Netherlands (1:36.20) held off USA and Italy in the mixed 4x50m medley relay.
Meanwhile, Matteo Rivolta became the fourth Italian man to win an individual world short course title after holding off South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Russia Swimming Federation’s Andrei Minakov in the 100m butterfly.
Speaking in a press conference, he said: “I’m very happy with the gold. It was my first final in the short course and I’m really happy to compete at a high level. I hoped I could have gone a little bit faster but I couldn’t expect anything more than what I have done tonight.”
Other winners on the day included USA’s Nic Fink (men’s 200m breaststroke) with his compatriot Rhyan White coming out top in the women’s 200m backstroke.
Earlier, Sweden equalled the world record in the women’s 4x50m medley relay at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi on a day in which Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich recorded a new championship mark.