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SHANGHAI, China, July 27. THE host nation had another chance to cheer on a native son to victory as China's Sun Yang became the fastest man in textile in the men's 800 free at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Sun dominated the field with a sterling time of 7:38.57. The swim eclipsed the previous textile best of 7:38.65 clocked by the illustrious Grant Hackett at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal. China's Zhang Lin still holds the world record with a 7:32.12 clocked during the techsuit era at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.
"I'm happy with my performance, especially winning the gold medal at home," Sun said. "It's my personal best, and it gives me more confidence for my remaining races and next year's London Olympics. I really focused on my kick the last month in training, and it helped me a lot. I swam my own rhythm, and my last 400 meters is better than the other swimmers, and I sped up at the 700-meter mark."
Sun moved to third all time in the event behind Zhang and Ous Mellouli (7:35.27) as his effort tonight also stands third on the all-time performances list.
Canada's Ryan Cochrane finished more than three seconds back with a silver-winning 7:41.86, besting his lifetime best of 7:41.92 that also stood as the Canadian record since 2009. The silver is an improvement on Cochrane's bronze medal from 2009.
Hungary's Gergo Kis took bronze with a 7:44.94 for his first world championship medal. He smashed his Hungarian record of 7:51.93 set last year.
Mellouli (7:45.99), Pal Joensen of the Faroe Islands (7:46.51), USA's Chad La Tourette (7:46.52), USA's Peter Vanderkaay (7:46.64) and France's Sebastien Rouault (7:55.91) also competed in the finale.