First Blood To Sun In World Swim Grudge Match
Zeeshan Mehtab 5 months ago Sun 21st July 2019 | 10:10 AM
Gwangju, South Korea, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Jul, 2019 ) :China's controversial champion Sun Yang topped qualifying in the 400 metres freestyle at the world swimming championships Sunday to set up a final that will be bubbling with hostility.
American stars Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky also looked in peak condition on the first day of the pool competition in Gwangju, while Britain's Adam Peaty limbered up for an assault on his own 100m breaststroke world record.
Triple Olympic champion Sun shrugged off fresh claims from a leaked FINA doping panel report that he smashed blood samples with a hammer when visited by testers last year, easing home in his heat in a time of 3min 44.10sec.
Australian rival Mack Horton, who labelled Sun a "drug cheat" over a previous three-month suspension before pipping the Chinese giant to gold in the 2016 Rio Olympic final, could only manage fifth fastest, well over a second slower.
"The first race is always difficult," Sun told reporters.
"My goal this morning was just to make sure I did what I needed to make the final and give myself some confidence. I've trained so hard this year and want to show my best in every race." World record holder Ledecky qualified fastest for the women's 400m freestyle final in 4:01.84 with Australian teen Ariarne Titmus, the Commonwealth champion, second fastest in 4:02.42.
"I'm right where I wanted to be so feeling good moving forward."