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Chalmers wins, Aussie women break 4x200m relay record

Kyle Chalmers celebrates winning gold in the 100m freestyle. Picture: Kiyoshi Ota.

Kyle Chalmers is savouring his sweetest victory of them all.

And Australia's swimmers continue their Fukuoka feast with the women's 4x200 metres freestyle relay team setting a world record amid three more gold medals at the world championships.

Chalmers (100m freestyle), the invincible relayers and Kaylee McKeown (50m backstroke) all saluted on Thursday night.

Australia's gold medal tally rose to nine - the nation's most at any world titles since 2007.

Liz Dekkers also collected a 200m butterfly silver medal, while the women's relayers created Australia's third world record of the meet.

Relay teammates Mollie O'Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus have been involved in two of the benchmarks, following their records in the 200m freestyle and 400m freestyle respectively.

O'Callaghan, Shayna Jack, Brianna Throssell and Titmus sizzled in the 4x200 relay, clocking seven minutes 37.50 seconds to eclipse Australia's previous world record of 7:39.29 at last year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The achievement came shortly after Chalmers said he was intent on appreciating his 100 freestyle world title more than his shock Olympic gold seven years ago.

The 25-year-old triumphed with a trademark last-lap surge - turning in seventh, he powered to the finish to win in 47.15 from American Jack Alexy (47.31).

"I have had to work so much harder for that moment," Chalmers said.

"Obviously, 2016 (at the Olympics) I was an 18-year-old kid and, to be honest, I didn't really know what I achieved in that moment... I have had to work so hard for seven years, sacrifice so much, go through heart surgery, shoulder surgeries, some pretty bad mental health times throughout this last little period. So I know how much it means to me, my family, my friends."

Chalmers was desperate to complete his collection which includes Olympic, Commonwealth Games and world short-course gold in the event.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't have doubt in mind at times that I would be able to achieve that," he said.

McKeown set an Australian record in winning the 50m backstroke, adding to her 100m backstroke title two nights ago.

She clocked 27.08, inside her previous benchmark of 27.16 set in 2021, to pip American rival Regan Smith (27.11).

Dekkers took silver in the 200m butterfly in 2:05.46 with Canadian 16-year-old Summer McIntosh taking the gold medal in 2:04.06.

In the women's 100m freestyle semi-finals, Australia's reigning world champion O'Callaghan and Emma McKeon both advanced to Friday night's final.

O'Callaghan, a night after setting a 200m freestyle record, won her semi in 52.86 and, in the same semi-final, McKeon finished third in 53.00.

In the men's 200m breaststroke semi-finals, Australia's world record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook was fastest qualifier for the medal race in a time of 2:07.27.

Abbey Harkin (2:23.65) secured her berth in Friday night's 200m breaststroke final while Brad Woodward advanced to the men's 200m backstroke final in a time of 1:56.16.


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