Great Britain’s Adam Peaty claimed the men’s 50 metres breaststroke title at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Aquatics Championships in Kazan to become the first male swimmer to win both the 50m and 100m crowns in the same edition of the event.
Having already secured the 100m title on Monday (August 3), Peaty touched home in 26.51sec to once again finish ahead of South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh, the first swimmer from his country to claim a fifth medal in a specific event at the World Championships having already won gold in 2009 and 2013, and bronze in 2007 and 2011.
Completing the podium was the United States’ Kevin Cordes, ensuring his first medal at this level.
"Every inch and every centimetre has been the hardest this week," said Peaty.
"The 100m against Cameron was one of the hardest races of my life but I stepped up and didn’t get taken away by the occasion tonight."
Peaty went on to add a third gold medal to his haul in the last final of the day as Britain took top honours in the inaugural mixed 4x100m medley relay with a world record time of 3mi 41.71sec.
Chris Walker-Hebborn, Siobhan O’Connor and Fran Halsall made up the remainder of the quartet, edging out the US and Germany, second and third respectively.
The world record had earlier been broken twice in the heats, firstly by Russia in 3:45.87 and then by the US in 3:42.33.
Elsewhere on the fourth day of swimming action, the US’s Katie Ledecky powered home in the women’s 200m freestyle to add to the 400m and 1500m titles she has already won.
The 18-year-old secured her seventh World Championship gold medal in all with a time of 1:55.16 as Italy’s Federica Pellegrini, the world record holder in the event, claimed silver, and fellow American Missy Franklin came away with bronze.
In the men’s 200m butterfly, Hungary’s László Cseh clocked 1:53.48 to take gold ahead of South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, the reigning Olympic and world champion.
Le Clos led at the 100m mark, but Cseh fought back to claim his second World Championship gold medal, 10 years after winning his first in the 400m individual medley at Montreal 2005.
The bronze went to Jan Switkowski in what was the first success at this level for the 21-year-old Polish swimmer.
There was also a gold medal for China’s Sun Yang, touching first in the men’s 800m freestyle final to retain his title with a time of 7:39.96.
Gregorio Paltrinieri provided strong competition for Sun, who served a three-month doping ban in 2014 following a positive test for a banned stimulant, but the Italian ultimately had to settle for silver with Australia’s Mack Horton rounding off the podium.
Meanwhile in the men's high diving, there was further British success as Gary Hunt finally got his hands on the world title he had craved for so long with a total of 629.30 points.
The 31-year-old came second at both the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona and last year’s FINA High Diving World Cup, also in Kazan.
But he was not to be denied on this occasion, topping the podium with Mexico’s Jonathan Paredes in second and home favourite Artem Silchenko in third.
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