Australia has set a new world record in the 4×100m freestyle mixed final at the FINA World Championships.

The lineup of Jack Cartwright, Kyle Chalmers, Madison Wilson and Mollie O’Callaghan clocked 3:19.38 in Budapest to shave two-hundredths of a second off the record set by the United States for the last world titles of 2019.

The Aussies end the Americans’ dominant three-title winning streak from 2015 to 2019 at the event.

Cartwright led the team in an early 48.12 split to position Australia perfectly in the first change, sitting third by just 0.19 from the American team. Chalmers was next in the water and had captured the lead in his first 50m before pulling off a nearly one-second margin at the midpoint in a 46.98 split, his second under-47 swim of the competition. Delivering, Wilson widened the margin to 0.90 on the final spin. He gave newly crowned 100m world champion O’Callaghan an undeniable lead, but then it turned into a race against the red line.

The 18-year-old replicated the powerful second 50m of her individual world title to secure not only gold for Australia, but also a new world record.

“I don’t think there was any mention, expectation or even thought about being able to break that world record,” Wilson said afterward. “So to do that and see it at the end was amazing and a real surprise for us.”

Meanwhile, after five silver medals, Australian Olympic hero Kaylee McKeown finally won gold when she beat American Phoebe Bacon by just four hundredths of a second in the women’s 200m backstroke. McKeown delivered a clinical 50m final to add an individual world title to his resume. McKeown was second quickest off the wall and first in the first 50m, before Bacon made her move in the middle 100m to turn 0.33 ahead of McKeown at the 150m mark. The 20-year-old’s renowned competitive spirit kicked in exactly when she needed it, kicking off the final 50m to hand her the gold medal by a razor-thin margin of 2:05.08.

Kiah Melverton also took silver in an inspirational swim in the women’s 800m freestyle final.

Swimming from the outside lane, Melverton posted a personal best time of 8:18.77 to claim his first individual medal at the world championships. Melverton matched American great Katie Ledecky, producing a remarkable nearly 12-second improvement on her time due to the heat.

The 25-year-old becomes only the second Australian this century to win a medal in this event at the world championships, following Ariarne Titmus’s bronze in 2019.

After the seventh day of action, Australia sit second in the medal tally with six gold, eight silver and one bronze.

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