Record-breaking Achievement : Sarah Sjöström Wins 21st Medal, Beats Phelps

Sarah Sjöström’s name was added to the annals of swimming history on the final day of the World Championships, as she surpassed Michael Phelps’ record by clinching her 21st individual medal. The Swedish star demonstrated exceptional skill in the women’s 50-meter freestyle, securing her victory with an almost-world-record time of 23.62 seconds.

Sjöström spoke of her joy and relief following her triumphant performance, having already garnered attention the previous day with her world record-breaking swim and gold medal victory. “It was very busy yesterday,” she stated, still reeling from her monumental achievements. 

Meanwhile, other records previously held by swimming legend Michael Phelps were being shattered. Katie Ledecky bagged her 16th individual gold, while promising French swimmer Leon Marchand outdid Phelps’ best in the men’s 400-meter individual medley.

Australia’s Shayna Jack and China’s Zhang Yufei scooped up the silver and bronze medals respectively in the women’s 50-meter freestyle. Elsewhere, Canadian starlet Summer McIntosh claimed her second gold of the championship, winning the women’s 400-meter individual medley with an impressive time of 4:27.11, the third-fastest in history.

Despite a shaky start at the championships, McIntosh found motivation in her early disappointments and converted her initial setbacks into two gold medal wins in her final races. “I try to turn everything that goes wrong into motivation somehow,” the young swimmer commented.

Sarah Sjöström Wins 21st Medal

Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania also set a world record while clinching gold in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke, leaving American Lilly King and Italian Benedetta Pilato trailing in second and third place.

In the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle, Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui added another gold to his collection, just narrowly beating Bobby Finke of the United States. Hafnaoui acknowledged his competitor’s fierce challenge, saying, “Bobby is so fast in the end of the race, he pushed us.”

In the men’s 50-meter backstroke, Americans Hunter Armstrong and Justin Ress dominated, finishing first and second respectively, leaving China’s Xu Jiayu to collect the bronze.

The American swimming contingent ended their championships on a high, scooping gold in both of Sunday’s relays. Regan Smith, a member of the victorious women’s relay team, described their success as “the cherry on top.”

Australia finished the championship at the top of the medal table, tying their best results from 2001 and 2005 with 13 golds and 25 medals in total. The U.S. collected seven golds and 38 medals in all, while China bagged five golds and 16 medals overall.

The championship torch now passes on to Doha, Qatar, which will host the next edition of the worlds in February, a few months before the Olympics.

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