2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Australians Lead Day 1 Medal Table


The first night of racing has wrapped at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Australia has already doubled their medal count from the 2017 World Championships, and it’s once again the women, and distance swimmer Mack Horton, who are leading the way. In 2017, the Australian women won 8 of the country’s 10 total medals; on day 1 this year, both golds came on the women’s side. A bronze medal finish in the men’s 400 free relay, though, is a welcome sight for the Aussies, who hadn’t medaled at the long course World Championship in that event since taking gold in 2011. The early medal table highlights the intense battles of day 1, as well as previews budding rivalries fans will get to see play out for the remainder of the meet, and through the final year before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The first final of the evening, the men’s 400 freestyle, was won by China’s Sun Yang in 3:42.44. Silver went to Australian Mack Hortonwho refused to step onto the podium during the medal ceremony–and bronze by Italy’s Gabriele Detti.

Australia managed a huge win and upset in the women’s 400 freestyle, where Ariarne Titmus crushed a final 50 split of 29.51 to pass Katie Ledecky, the huge favorite to win gold, finishing in a new Australian and Oceanic Record time of 3:58.76. Ledecky settled for silver in 3:59.97, and Leah Smith collected bronze in 4:01.29, just out-touching Hungary’s Anja Kesely by .02.

Australia collected its final gold of the evening in the women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay, where the team of Bronte Campbell (52.85), Brianna Throssell (53.34), Emma McKeon (52.57), and Cate Campbell (51.45) put together a huge 3:30.21 for a new Championship Record, finishing only .16 off the World Record, which was set by the Australian women last April at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The United States managed to pick up silver in the women’s relay, while Canada held on for bronze.

The American men picked up Team USA’s first gold of the meet with their Championship Record finish in the 4 x 100 free relay, where the team of Caeleb Dressel (47.63), Blake Pieroni (47.49), Zach Apple (46.86), and Nathan Adrian (47.04) held off the Russian, 3:09.06 to 3:09.97. Australia then finished 3rd in 3:11.22.


1 Australia 2 1 1 4 1 (tie)
2 United States 1 2 1 4 1 (tie)
3 China 1 1 2 (tie)
4 Russia 1 1 2 (tie)
5 (tie) Canada 1 1 2 (tie)
5 (tie) Italy 1 1 2 (tie)
Totals 4 4 4 12

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I hope the Aussies enjoy today’s placement on the leadership board; I think the rest of the week is going to be a bit of a downer for them.


You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about !


Whilst he may be overdoing the doom and gloom, Mike may not be entirely incorrect. Whilst TItmus was expected to medal in 400FR, her gold wasn’t really “budgeted for”. M400FR was probably seen as reasonable medal chance but not a sure bet, Horton’s silver can be seen as “exceeding expectations”. The men’s 4X100 were only seen as an outside medal chance, winning bronze is a major “upgrade”. W4X100 is really the only event on the entire program where you could say AUS/an Australian is seen as clear favourites for gold. Where will any further gold come from ?? – Titmus may now be firming as favourite for gold in 200FR but that race still looks a bit of a lottery.… Read more »


Ariarne, Cate, W4x200free and mixed relays are certainly gold chances. Most others are ‘only’ medal chances – including McKeon who you didn’t mention and perhaps a female backstroker. Not too bad for a relatively small team. Also the medal tally includes 50m form stroke events which Australia doesn’t care about so AUS would never be likely to challenge the USA by the end of the week.


All very conceivable gold chances, but hardly bankable ones. Thought about McKeon in 200FR but Titmus’ 400 probably scales her back to medal bet; as for 100FLY she’s a medal bet but not really seeing her pushing SS. W200BK has medal possibilities but the terms of reference for my piece (in response to comments above me) were gold chances and their likelihood.


Am I the only one that was a bit disappointed in Kyle’s 4×100 split? Given the form he’s been in so far this year I kind of expected a sub 47 split.


yeah i thought he seemed to size up the the competition and swam just enough to get on the podium but then i re watched it and he was looking the other way i dont know even broze medal rio adrian had a sub 47 in rio relay


Considering USA is 10 times the population of Australia will they have 10 times the medals?


@KATYJ Maybe if it was unlimited entries and just qualifying standards. Exhibit A: USA men’s “B” 4×100 would’ve gotten bronze


FAST FORWARD: Day 4 – Aussies enjoying the view atop of the leadership board (early days i know)….would someone hand MIKE IN DALLAS a glass of water to wash down his sour grapes :o)

Cheatin Vlad

Hell of a swim by Titmus and you have to give it to the Aussie ladies. Looking forward to Campbell squaring off with Sjostrom in the 100 free along with McKeon and Titmus in the 200 free.


Watching Ariarne mow down & comfortably pass Ledecky on the final lap was priceless.


Arnie’s gonna have to keep improving because it’ll be a big surprise if Ledecky gets hit by a piano again like that at Tokyo.


Just like it was a big surprise when Janet Evans got beaten in the 92 Olympics 400m. She may have held distance world records for another decade or so but Evans never set another world record beyond the age of 18. It happens to middle-distance women. Not many come back from a drop-off in level.


CHN, RUS, CAN, and ITA are tied for 3rd overall. Not 2nd. There are 2 teams above them.

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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