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O'Callaghan trumps teammate Titmus, breaks longest-standing women's swim record

Mollie O'Callaghan was in shock after seeing she had won the women's 200m freestyle and broken the world record. Picture: Franck Robichon.

Mollie O’Callaghan is Australia’s newest golden girl after a thrilling come-from-behind win against training partner Ariarne Titmus in the 200m freestyle final. O’Callaghan trumped Titmus by 0.16 seconds at the world swimming championships in Fukuoka to win gold and break the oldest world record in women’s swimming.

O’Callaghan clocked in at 1:52.85, narrowly ahead of her Aussie counterpart who swam a personal best time of 1:53.01.

Titmus had a lead of half a body length heading into the final lap and looked tough to beat, but O’Callaghan’s final turn helped her gain enough momentum off the wall to draw level and eventually take the lead in the final 20 meters of the race.

Both O’Callaghan and Titmus turned to look straight at the big screen, unsure of who had won the race. O’Callaghan’s face immediately lit up when she realized she had claimed the gold medal, beaten her favoured training partner, and claimed a world record from the supersuit era which had stood for 14 years.

"I kind of looked (at the results board) and I was a bit like 'oh, is that me or not?'… There was tears. There was happiness. Very mixed emotions... I am just so proud of myself to do that. It was such an unexpected moment."

No Australian woman has held the world record in the 200m freestyle since Shane Gould, who set the record 51 years ago at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

It was the second gold medal and world record at the championships for 19-year-old O’Callaghan after being a part of the victorious 4x100m freestyle relay team earlier in the week.


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