Sport Swimming Aussies shock world with mixed medley relay gold in South Korea
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Aussies shock world with mixed medley relay gold in South Korea

Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell, Mitchell Larkin and Matthew Wilson celebrate their mixed 4x100m medley relay win. Photo: AFP/Getty
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Australia has claimed a surprise 4x100m mixed medley relay gold at the world swimming titles in South Korea on Wednesday night.

Cate Campbell reeled in the United States’ Simone Manuel on the final leg to give Australia a shock win in three minutes, 39.08 seconds.

It was Australia’s third gold medal of the eight-day meet.

Australia was tipped to bring gold No.3 earlier on night four, but Ariarne Titmus was upstaged by Italian veteran Federica Pellegrini in the 200m freestyle final.

Pellegrini defended her world title by clocking 1:54.22 to hold out teenager Titmus by 0.44sec.

Titmus was the hot favourite after the withdrawals of main threats Katie Ledecky of the US, Australia’s Emma McKeon and Canada’s Commonwealth Games champion Taylor Ruck.

The 18-year-old appeared to be the one to beat after a shock 400m freestyle win over American great Ledecky on Sunday night.

She was aiming to become the first Australian woman to claim the 200m-400m freestyle double at a world titles.

Her chances were improved when Ledecky and McKeon pulled out due to illness and Ruck was rested for the 200m freestyle event.

But Pellegrini, 30, was not to be denied, claiming her fourth 200m world title.

“On training times I thought I had a better swim in me,” Titmus said.

“I am second in the world, which is great, but I have high standards.

“Obviously I would have loved to get the gold, but I wasn’t good enough tonight.”

Meanwhile, Jack McLoughlin produced a personal best but finished fourth in the 800m freestyle final, missing out on bronze by half a second.

The 800m title was claimed by Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, with controversial three-time world champion Sun Yang of China finishing sixth.

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers overcame a slow heat session to be second fastest qualifier for Thursday night’s 100m freestyle final behind defending champion Caeleb Dressel of the US.

Kaylee McKeown was fourth fastest for Thursday’s 50m backstroke final and Mitch Larkin was fifth quickest for the 200m individual medley medal race but Thomas Fraser-Holmes missed out.

-AAP