By James Crook

haley-anderson 2007getty630July 20 - American swimmer Haley Anderson has earned the first gold medal of the International Aquatics Federation (FINA) World Championships in Barcelona, winning the women's 5km open water event by just a fraction of a second.

Olympic silver medallist in the 10km, Anderson led early on in the race and retained her lead just beyond the halfway point, but a lapse in concentration allowed Brazilian Poliana Okimoto-Cintra to take to the head of the group.

It went on to be a two-way race for gold between Anderson and Okimoto-Cintra, but it was the American that came out on top, just two tenths of a second ahead of her Brazilian opponent in a time of 56 minutes and 34.4 seconds.

"The race felt really good and it's an honour to win," Anderson said.

"This is my first World Championships gold medal and my first international 5k swim."

Ous Mellouli.v1374332396Ous Mellouli of Tunisia took the men's 5km open water world title in Barcelona

Tunisia's Ous Mellouli came out on top in the men's race in 53 minutes and 30.4 seconds, ahead of Canada's Eric Hedlin and Germany's Thomas Lurz in second and third respectively.

China's Shi Tingmao and four-time Olympic champion Wu Minxia won the first diving gold medal of the event to secure Wu's record sixth world title in the women's 3m synchronised springboard.

The pair, whose five dives earned them a top total score of 338.40 points, were joined on the podium at the Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc by Italy's Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallapé in second with 307.80, and Canada's Pamela Ware and Jennifer Abel in third on 292.08.

Meanwhile, Russian three-time Olympic gold medallist Svetlana Romashina won the solo synchronised event with 96.800 points at the Palau Sant Jordi ahead of China's Huang Xuechen who took the silver medal with 95.500 points to match her second place finish in Shanghai two years ago.

Home athlete Ona Carbonell, a silver and bronze medallist at London 2012, claimed the third and final place on the podium with 94.400 points.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
July 2013: Record numbers to compete at Aquatics World Championships
October 2012: FINA ends doubts Barcelona will be able to host 2013 World Aquatics Championships