World swimming championships 2022: Lani Pallister wins 800m freestyle, 4x200m relay smashed Kaylee McKeown, Mollie O’Callaghan, Day 2 results
Lani Pallister has continued her breakout meet at the world short course swimming championships, winning two more gold medals on Wednesday night in Melbourne.
A day after winning her maiden world title in the 400m freestyle, Pallister led from start to finish in the 800m freestyle to blitz the field, breaking her own Australian record in a time of 8:04.07.
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Pallister finished half a lap ahead of New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather and Japan’s Miyu Namba.
Less than two hours later, Pallister anchored the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay to gold in 7:30.87, smashing the world record by two seconds in the process.
Pallister had the fastest split of the Australians to pull away from the USA and Canada over the final leg.
The quartet of Madi Wilson, Mollie O’Callaghan, Leah Neale and Pallister will split A$37,000 in prize money for breaking the world record.
“I will probably never swim a 200m individually but to jump in and do a relay with these girls. It’s just insane,” Pallister said.
“It’s something everyone dreams of. I definitely didn’t come into this meet thinking that I’d win three gold medals in the first two days of competition. It’s almost a dream come true. It hasn’t settled in for me yet.”
With three golds in two days, Pallister is emerging as the newest bona fide star of the Dolphins team and she will have the chance to add to her medal haul in the 1500m later in the week.
O’Callaghan was in tears in the warm down pool suffering severe cramp after claiming silver in the 100m backstroke and nearly didn’t get on the blocks for the relay.
Kaylee McKeown (55.49sec) roared home in the final lap to snatch victory from O’Callaghan (55.62) and add the world short course title to her Olympic and Commonwealth gold medals in the event.
O’Callaghan is better known as a freestyler but is racing only backstroke and relays at the world short course titles in Melbourne.
The versatile teenager threatened to steal McKeown’s thunder in one of her pet events but the Olympic champion showed her class with an excellent last turn to maintain her backstroke bragging rights.
Australia has won five gold medals on the first two days of the world championships in Melbourne.
In the men’s 100m backstroke, Australia’s Isaac Cooper claimed a surprise bronze medal in a time of 49.52 from lane 1 to cap a stunning return to international racing.
The 18-year-old was sent home from the Australian swimming team’s Commonwealth Games training camp in France earlier this year over a disciplinary breach.
Cooper was scratched from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as a result of wellbeing challenges, including the misuse of medication.
The talented backstroker won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the mixed 4x100m medley relay and is seen emerging as a star of the future.
He shaved a whopping 1.9 seconds off his personal best in Melbourne to join Mitch Larkin and Bobby Hurley as the only Australian men to swim the 100m backstroke in under 50 seconds.
Emma McKeon was the fastest qualifier into the 100m freestyle final and is on track to claim her first individual world title after leading Australia to victory and a world record in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Singapore’s Siobhan Haughey was second fastest in the semi-finals, and Australia’s Madi Wilson is in the hunt for a medal with the third quickest time.
In other events, Kyle Chalmers (45.66) qualified third fastest into Thursday night’s 100m freestyle final to set up a mouth-watering showdown with Romanian teen sensation David Popovici, who qualified fifth fastest (45.91).
The unheralded Jordan Brooks of the Cayman Islands threatens to spoil the party after he blitzed the heats and semis to be fastest (45.55) into the final.
Originally published as ‘Insane’: Lani Pallister wins two more gold, Aussie women shatter another world record