Siobhán Haughey broke the women's 200m freestyle world record ©Getty Images

Hong Kong’s Siobhán Haughey stole the headlines on the opening day International Swimming Federation World Swimming Championships (25m) after breaking the women’s 200 metres freestyle world record here in Abu Dhabi.

The two-time Olympic silver medallist came home in 1min 50.31sec, beating the previous record of 1:50.43 set by Sarah Sjöström of Sweden in 2017, as she captured the gold medal in sensational style.

Heading into the final, nothing could separate Haughey and Rebecca Smith of Canada as they both posted the same exact time of 1:52.86 in the heats.

But Smith was unable to keep on Haughey’s coattails as she finished a distant second in 1:52.24.

Paige Madden of the United States bagged bronze in 1:53.01.

Haughey became the first Hong Kong athlete to win gold in the history of the World Swimming Championships (25m).

"I knew I was close to the world record, I got close recently a few times and everyone around me kept telling me I could do it," said Haughey.

"I just tried not to think about that as all I wanted to do is really focus on my race plan and how I was going to swim well.

"I think that was the right thing to do, not think too much about the record, just focus on what I have to do.

"The whole race happened pretty quickly.

"Honestly, I don’t really remember too much about it, but I’m sure there are things I have to work on, things I can slightly improve."

Daiya Seto became only the fourth swimmer in history to capture a world title in five successive editions of the short course event after winning the men's 200m individual medley crown.

The Japanese swimmer led from start to finish as he clocked a winning time of 1:51.15.

Carson Foster of the US put pressure on Seto but had to settle for silver in 1:51.35, while Italy's Alberto Razzetti claimed bronze in 1:51.54.

It was an impressive achievement by Razzetti who had collected his men's 200m butterfly gold medal just minutes before racing.

The lead changed several times before Razzetti came from behind to snatch the title in a thrilling final.

Ten-time world short course champion Chad Le Clos of South Africa made a strong start as he turned first after the opening 50m before Norway's Tomoe Hvas launched a charge.

Hvas led the way at the halfway point before Trenton Julian of the US then moved out in front in a gripping tussle for gold.

In the final lap, Razzetti emerged victorious after touching in 1:49.06 ahead of Switzerland's Noe Ponti in 1:49.81.

Le Clos came third in 1:49.84.

Alberto Razzetti celebrates after winning the men's 200m butterfly gold medal ©Getty Images
Alberto Razzetti celebrates after winning the men's 200m butterfly gold medal ©Getty Images

Felix Auböck of Austria won the first gold medal of this year's event with victory in the men's 400m freestyle after overcoming a strong challenge from Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys.

Rapsys battled hard from the seventh lane as he threatened to pull off a shock victory, but Auböck proved too strong in the closing 25m.

Auböck triumphed in 3:38.77 as Rapsys earned silver in 3.36.23 and Antonio Djakovic of Switzerland picked up bronze in 3:36.83.

Pan American gold medallist Tessa Cieplucha of Canada became world short course champion after winning the women's 400m individual medley title.

Emma Weyant of the US looked strong in the opening stages as she led from lane eight, but by the halfway point, Weyant was in front with Cieplucha chasing hard.

Cieplucha eventually overhauled Weyant as Ellen Walshe of Ireland moved into contention going into the final 100m.

The Canadian remained composed and won in 4:25.55 as Walshe clocked 4:26.52 for silver.

American Melanie Margalis was third in 4:26.63.

The US battled back to share the gold medal with Canada after a gripping women's 4x100m freestyle relay final.

Sjöström and Michelle Coleman gave Sweden the lead over the first two legs, only to be overtaken by Canada courtesy of Rebecca Smith’s strong showing.

The US were in third position before Abbey Weitzeil produced a stirring fightback in the final 100m.

She closed the gap on Katerine Savard and both swimmers touched the wall in 3:28.52 as the US and Canada shared the honours, while Sweden came third in 3:28.80.

Tessa Cieplucha is congratulated by Ilaria Cusinato after claiming the women's 400m individual medley crown ©Getty Images
Tessa Cieplucha is congratulated by Ilaria Cusinato after claiming the women's 400m individual medley crown ©Getty Images

The Russian Swimming Federation (RSF) overhauled Italy after a lung-busting final leg to win the men's 4x100m freestyle relay crown.

Ryan Held got the US off to a superb start as he touched first ahead of Alessandro Miressi of Italy in the opening leg.

Thomas Ceccon then put Italy ahead at the halfway point as the US slipped back to second behind the RSF.

Leonardo Deplano gave Italy a slender advantage as Vladislav Grinev put the RSF within striking distance going into the final leg.

Grinev's performance was then backed up by Aleksandr Shchegolev, who overpowered Italy's Lorenzo Zazzeri to clinch victory.

The RSF won gold in 3:03.45 as Italy claimed silver in 3:03.61 and the US earned bronze in 3:05.42.

Russian athletes are competing as the RSF in Abu Dhabi, as part of sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency against Russia in December 2018 in connection with the manipulation of data from the Moscow Laboratory.

Competition continues tomorrow.