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Great Britain's Freya Colbert wins world title in women's 400m medley

GB's Freya Colbert wins world title in women's 400m medley
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Great Britain's Freya Colbert is crowned world champion in the women's 400m medley, while Max Litchfield takes home the silver in the corresponding men's event.

Great Britain closed out the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in style as Freya Colbert clinched the gold medal in the women's individual 400m medley on the final day of competition.

The 19-year-old was crowned world champion for the very first time thanks to an impressive time of 4:37.14, 0.22 seconds better off than Israeli silver medallist Anastasia Gorbenko, while Italy's Sara Franceschi (4:37.86) placed third.

Colbert's title represented just the fourth gold medal for GB at the 2024 World Championships, as well as their second in the swimming competitions after Laura Stephens topped the rankings in the women's 200m butterfly.

The teenager had already secured one podium finish with a silver medal in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay, and GB claimed another runners-up finish on the last day of the Championships, as Max Litchfield finished second in the men's 400m medley event.

The 28-year-old was a silver medallist in the 400m medley during the 2016 Short Course World Championships and posted a time of 4:10.40 to win his maiden Long Course gold, 0.68 seconds behind New Zealand's Lewis Clarebutt.

However, Anna Hopkin could not join her compatriots on the podium on Sunday, placing sixth in the women's 50m freestyle final with a time of 24.51 seconds, as Swedish legend Sarah Sjostrom won a 14th world title and record-extending 25th medal on the biggest stage.

Thanks to Colbert and Litchfield's performances, GB end the Championships with a total of 18 medals, fifth in the overall rankings behind China (33), Australia (24), the United States (23) and Italy (19).

The Brits will be bringing home four golds, five silvers and nine bronzes, achieving more third-placed finishes than any other nation, while only China, Australia, the USA and the Netherlands won more world titles.

Elsewhere on the final day, Irish sensation Daniel Wiffen produced another spellbinding performance to win the gold medal in the 1500m freestyle, clocking a time of 14:34.07 to add to his 800m freestyle gold.

Wiffen finished just five-hundredths of a second behind the world record of 14:34.02, set by China's Sun Yang, and he was over 10 and a half seconds clear of German silver medallist Florian Wellbrock.

Wiffen's compatriot Mona McSharry placed eighth in the women's 50m breaststroke final, which was won by Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte in 29.40 seconds.

Finally, the Irish quartet of Connor Ferguson, Darragh Greene, Shane Ryan and Max McCusker finished seventh in the men's 4x100m medley with a total of 3:35.28, over five seconds behind world champions USA.

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