Swedish swimmer smashes butterfly record

Swedish swimming champion Sarah Sjöström broke the women's 100m butterfly record on Sunday as China’s Sun Yang and America’s Katie Ledecky kept their 400m freestyle titles at the World Championships.

Swedish swimmer smashes butterfly record
Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjöström. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Sjöström on Sunday set a new world record in the 100 metres butterfly semi-final at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, with a time of 55.74 seconds.

The 21-year-old smashed the previous record set by American Dana Vollmer who swam with a time of 55.98 seconds in the London Olympics.

“It was in my plan to set a record in the semi-final, because in the final I am in a different physical state,” said the defending world champion.

“I was quite slow in the first 50 metres, but later I sped up. And I had been waiting to set this record for so long.”

The champion had hinted at the record one month ago at this year's Swedish Championships.

“I'm waiting for the world record for the World Cup. I know I have it in me,” Sjöström said after swimming with a time of 56.96 seconds.

Whether Sjöström can keep up her performance for the final on Monday remains to be seen.

“I’ll see if I have more to give in the final,” she was quoted as saying by Dagens Nyheter. “I’ll look at this race and then we will see.”

This isn’t the first world record for Sjöström who last year broke the world record for 50 metres butterfly at the Swedish Championships.

Meanwhile, on Sunday China's Sun, the reigning 400, 800 and 1500m world champion and record holder over the mile, clocked three minutes 42.58 seconds to win his final by more than a second as Britain's James Guy took silver.

And American teenager Ledecky, a triple world-record holder, built a commanding lead in her final and came within a second of her own world record in the event, but had to make do with a winning time of 3:59.13 mins – a new championship record.

“This gets the momentum going and I couldn't be happier,” beamed the 18-year-old, who has only just graduated from high school.

A gold medal dream came true for sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell as they helped Australia win the women's 4x100m freestyle title.

The Queensland siblings paired up as Cate, the world 100m freestyle champion, anchored the team to set a new championship record of three minutes 31.48 seconds.

The Netherlands won silver at 2.19 secs back while the United States, including six-time world gold medallist Missy Franklin, won bronze at 3.13 back.

After the US team failed to qualify from the morning's heats for the men's 4x100m freestyle relay for the first time in world championships history, the French quartet retained their title.

Mehdy Metella, Florent Manaudou, Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius clocked three minutes, 10.74 seconds as Russia finished just 0.45secs behind to claim silver with loud encouragement from the home crowd in Kazan.

Italy took bronze at 1.79secs back.

There will be a battle royal in the men's 100m breaststroke final on Monday as world-record holder Adam Peaty goes head-to-head with Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh.

The pair took turns breaking the championship record in the morning heats, then the evening's semi-finals.

After Peaty broke it in the morning heats, South Africa's Van der Burgh won his semi-final in a new championships record of 58.49secs, only for the 20-year-old Briton to break it again in his semi by clocking 58.18secs.

“It is very good for the sport, very good for breaststroke to have two people going at each other,” said Peaty, who is making his worlds debut.

“I am just going out there and doing it, there is no pressure, nothing.”

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Malmö: Swimmers warned to stay out of water due to dangeous algae

Residents and visitors to Malmö have been warned to avoid swimming at all beaches and bathing spots along the southern city's coastline due to dangerous algae bloom in the water.

Malmö: Swimmers warned to stay out of water due to dangeous algae
The bathing pier at Sundspromenaden, one of Malmö's affected beaches. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

Editor's note: On Thursday, July 25th, city authorities said it was once again safe to swim. Bathers are advised to look for signs and flags by swimming spots in case the situation changes.

The city council took to social media to ask people to avoid swimming “until further notice”, while signs have been put up and black flags raised at the sites themselves.

This is after regular tests showed there was algal bloom in the water, which can produce toxins that are dangerous to people and animals, sometimes leading to rashes and stomach flu-like symptoms.

While the warm weather encourages many people to go for a dip outdoors, these weather conditions can also lead to overgrowth of algae.

Some of the affected swimming spots include Klagshamnsstranden, Ribersborgsstranden, Scaniabadet and Sundspromenaden in the Västra Hamnen area, Sibbarps saltsjöbad, and Sibbarpsstranden.

As for when it will be safe to swim again, it could be at least another day or two, but it's possible the beaches will be safe for bathers by the weekend.

Marie Persson from Malmö City's environmental department told Sydsvenskan: “We usually don't have this for more than a couple of days, then the wind blows it to other places. Now the weather is supposed to stay steady with calm winds, but I have no idea of ​​the currents. Hopefully it will be no more than a few days.”