Daiya Seto of Japan competes in the Men's 200m Butterfly Final of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Expo on December 11 2018. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ LINTAO ZHANG
Daiya Seto of Japan competes in the Men's 200m Butterfly Final of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Expo on December 11 2018. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ LINTAO ZHANG

Shanghai - Japan’s Daiya Seto smashed Chad le Clos’s short-course record in the men’s 200m butterfly as he grabbed gold at the World Championships to stun the South African on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Seto pipped his more famous rival by only 0.08sec to make a piece of history on the first day of action in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Seto, who won bronze in the 400m medley at the Rio 2016 Olympics, recovered from a comparatively slow start to hold off Le Clos down the stretch and triumph in 1min 48.24sec. It was a disappointing silver for the 26-year-old Le Clos, the reigning long-course and short-course world champion. He had also held the short-course record of 1:48.56, set in Singapore in 2013, until Seto bettered it in style.

A distant third was Li Zhuhao of China.

"I didn’t expect the world record," Seto was quoted by the Xinhua news agency as saying.

"Now I will focus on the 400m IM [individual medley] and I hope I can break the 400m IM world record also."

Australian teenager Ariarne Titmus stormed back to win the women’s 200m freestyle gold and underline her status as a
rising star of swimming.

The 18-year-old, who won 400m and 800m freestyle gold at the Commonwealth Games in her home country earlier in 2018, ran down the American Mallory Comerford to seal victory in a thrilling race.

Titmus was back in third after 150m, but she burst to the finish in 1:51.38 to relegate Comerford into silver, with Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands taking bronze. AFP