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US dominates, China ranks 5th at Hangzhou FINA Worlds

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-12-17 13:48
From left: silver medalist China's Xu Jiayu, gold medalist US's Ryan Murphy and bronze medalist Russia's Kliment Kolesnikov pose with their medals during ceremonies at the men's 100m backstroke at 14th FINA World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Dec 12, 2018. [Photo/IC]

HANGZHOU -- The 14th FINA World Swimming Championships lowered its curtain on Sunday night. The United States again showed its dominance, winning 17 golds, 15 silvers and four bronzes. Russia ranked second, Hungary was third and the Netherlands took fourth. China was fifth with three golds, five silvers and five bronzes.

Nine world records were shattered in the six-day competition.

China's 16-year-old Wang Jianjiahe gained the spotlight by winning the 800m freestyle gold and 400m silver. She also helped the home team to win the women's 4x200m freestyle on Saturday, breaking the Asian record.

The rising star, who made a mistake to swim an extra 50m in the 800m heat, was considered the best medal hope of China at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

China's Olympic bronze medallist Wang Shun added a 200m medley gold.

Backstroke specialist Xu Jiayu, 100m world champion in Budapest, took the 100m silver, while 18-year-old Qin Haiyang claimed the men's 200m breast silver. China also won the women's 4x50m and 4x100m medley silvers.

China's swimming star Sun Yang, a Hangzhou native, only took part in the men's 4x200m freestyle and helped the team to finish third.

The United States never lacks world first class swimmers, and it rewrote five world records in Hangzhou. Olivia Smoliga won the most gold medals in Hangzhou with seven golds, clinching the 50m and 100m backstroke titles as well as five relay golds. She helped to win the women's 4x100m medley relay on the last event of Hangzhou Worlds on Sunday in 3:45.58.

American star Caeleb Dressel, who won seven gold medals at the 2017 Budapest Worlds, topped the men's 100m freestyle in 45.62 on Sunday and later he led the team to win the men's 4x100m medley. He also took silvers in 50m freestyle and 200m butterfly in Hangzhou.

Russia made a big improvement in swimming this time. It collected six golds, five silvers and three bronzes in Hangzhou. Evgeny Rylov won two gold medals, the men's 50m and 200m back.

Hungary's four gold medals were claimed by only one person, the "Iron Lady" Katinka Hosszu. The Olympic and world champion won the 100m, 200m and 400m medley as well as the 200m fly.

The Netherlands' three golds were all won by 28-year-old Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who dominated the women's 50m and 100m free as well as the 50m fly. She won the 50m free in 23.19 on Sunday.

South Africa's 30-year-old Cameron Van der Burgh and Japan's veteran Daiya Seto both won two titles. Van der Burgh announced his retirement on Wednesday but he kept good form and won the men's 50m breast on Sunday with championship record 25.41.

New talent also made a splash here in Hangzhou.

Australian teenage sensation Ariarne Titmus broke Wang Jianjiahe's women's 400m freestyle world record to win the gold, and the 18-year-old went on to win the gold on 200m freestyle. She was the only gold medallist of Australia this time and the Aussies only ranked seventh in the medal tally behind South Africa.

The 18-year-old Russian prodigy Kliment Kolesnikov won gold in the 50m backstroke, silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay and bronze in the 100m backstroke.

Also Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, 22, beat Rio Olympic champion, Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy, to win the men's 1,500m free in a new championships record 14:09.14 on Sunday.

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