The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Three world marks tumble

Barcelona: Australian duo Matthew Welsh and Liesel Jones set the first world records of the world swimming championships within minutes of each other here Monday.

And they were soon joined by Kosuke Kitajima who set a new world mark at the Palau Sant Jordi pool on his way to becoming Japanís first world swimming champion in the menís 100 m breaststroke.

The 20-year-old Kitajima clocked 59.78 seconds to claim gold and better the previous record of 59.94 set by Russiaís Roman Sloudnov at the last world championships in Japan two years ago.

Earlier Welsh timed 23.43 seconds on his way to victory in the menís 50m butterfly final as Jones clocked a new world best of 1:06.37 in the semi-finals of the womenís 100m breaststroke.

The 26-year-old Welsh broke the previous mark of 23.44 seconds set by compatriot and defending champion Geoff Heugill at the last world championships.

Inspired by her fellow Australian, Olympic silver medallist Jones shaved fractions off the previous best of 1:06.52 set by Penelope Heyns of South Africa in Sydney in August 1999.

Olympic champion Yana Klochkova of the Ukraine, meanwhile, won gold in the womenís 200m individual medley. Klochkova clocked 2:10.75 to take the title.

Earlier, US veteran Jenny Thompson became the most bemedalled woman swimmer in world championships history when she took the 100m butterfly title. Thompson clocked a new championship record of 57.96 seconds.

The 30-year-old Thompson, world champion over the distance in 1998, also won the relay gold Sunday, and now has the most womenís world championships medals ever with a total of 11 Ė seven gold, three silver and a bronze.

She overtakes former East German swimmer Kornelia Ender and Shirley Babashoff of the US, who won ten each.

Popov gets it, finally

On Sunday sprint legend Popov had to wait 12 years but finally won the 4x100m freestyle gold with the Russian team as Thompson equalled the most medals won at world championships with a total of ten ó six gold, three silver and a bronze.

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