Australia's Kaylee McKeown won four gold medals at the Swimming World Cup in Berlin ©Getty Images

China's Qin Haiyang and Australia's Kaylee McKeown starred at the opening World Aquatics Swimming World Cup of the year in Berlin, claiming three and four gold medals, respectively.

Following an impressive quadruple gold medal haul at the World Championships in Fukuoka in July, the 24-year-old again impressed at the Swimming and Diving Hall in the Europasportpark in Germany's capital.

He set three World Cup records on the way to a 50 metres, 100m and 200m breaststroke treble, clocking 26.29sec, 57.69 and 2min 7.45sec, respectively.

His success was even more impressive given the stacked nature of the men's breaststroke field, which featured Italy's 2022 100m world champion Nicolò Martinenghi, nine-time winner on last year's World Cup Nic Fink of the United States and Britain's three-time Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty.

China's Qin Haiyang, third left, was the leading male athlete at the Swimming World Cup in Berlin ©Getty Images
China's Qin Haiyang, third left, was the leading male athlete at the Swimming World Cup in Berlin ©Getty Images

In the women's events, McKeown added to her 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke world titles with wins in each of the distances at the first World Cup of the year, contributing to three of Australia's medals table-leading nine golds.

She also set World Cup records of 27.24, 57.95 and 2:06.47.

A 200m individual medley success in 2:10.76 completed a fine three days for McKeown.

Thomas Ceccon of Italy was another athlete who performed well in Berlin, taking men's 100m backstroke gold in 52.27 and 200m gold in 1:56.64.

Zhang Yufei of China enjoyed a double in the women's 100m and 200m butterfly.

The 100m world champion notched 56.47 to win the shorter race, and 2:07.11 to triumph in the distance in which she is Olympic champion.

Siobhán Haughey of Hong Kong triumphed in the women's 100m freestyle in 52.02 and 200m freestyle in 1:55.10, both World Cup records, and Danas Rapšys of Lithuania won the men's 200m and 400m freestyle in 1:45.75 and 3:44.86.

South Africa's Matthew Sates earned gold medals in two disciplines as he won the 200m butterfly in 1:55.87 and 200m individual medley in 1:58.01.

Sarah Sjöström of Sweden, who broke the record for most career medals won at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, sealed a double in the women's 50m freestyle in 23.95 and 50m butterfly in a World Cup record 25.06.

Australia with nine golds were followed by China with five and the United States with four on the medals standings in Berlin.

Greece's capital Athens is due to stage the second of three Swimming World Cups from Friday to Sunday (October 13 to 15).