Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott of Great Britain celebrate on the podium. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott of Great Britain celebrate on the podium. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Perfect response to Sun’s ‘loser’ sledge

How you like me now, Sun Yang?

Duncan Scott, the British swimmer who followed Mack Horton's lead by refusing to pose on the podium with Sun Yang, responded to being called a "loser" by the Chinese bad boy with what he described as the best swim of his life.

Anchoring Britain's 4x100m medley relay team, Scott mowed down America's Nathan Adrian to hand the US its first ever defeat in the event.

"I can't say I thought I had that split in me," grinned Scott. "I'm sort of speechless I've been able to put that race together.

"The boys put me in position and I just used adrenaline to come home. It was great to dethrone the Americans - I've got to put that down as my best swim."

Pumped. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Pumped. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Scott's electrifying finish denied US pin-up boy Caeleb Dressel a seventh world title in eight days.

"I don't think there will ever be an instance where I get two silvers and six golds and be upset," said Dressel.

"It's a very tough week - part of me is very happy, part of me wants to cry that I'm done with it," added the 22-year-old, who swept to seven gold medals at the 2017 world championships in Budapest.

"I've got pimples on my face from the stress of the meet, I'm losing some hair."

Dressel, swimming's chiselled, tattooed pin-up, has lit up a meet plagued by doping protests and mud-slinging and would have expected to pocket a seventh gold medal after giving Adrian a lead of half a body length with the fastest butterfly split ever on the third leg.

But Scott, in much the same way Horton delivered in the 4x200m freestyle relay, exploded from the blocks to smash the anchor leg, hunting down Adrian as he fired off a sensational 46.14 to give the Brits a famous gold - and a third of the week for Adam Peaty.

United States' Caeleb Dressel and Sweden's Sarah Sjsotrom were named top male and female swimmers at the World Swimming Championships. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
United States' Caeleb Dressel and Sweden's Sarah Sjsotrom were named top male and female swimmers at the World Swimming Championships. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

US WOMEN BREAK WORLD RECORD

There were no such mistakes from the United States women's team, who obliterated their own 4x100m medley relay world record to close out a controversial week in Gwangju in flamboyant style.

Simone Manuel romped to victory in the 50m freestyle before returning to anchor the American women to a world best of 3:50.40 - boosted by a backstroke world record of 57.57 from teenage lead-off swimmer Regan Smith.

"To start off with a world record from Regan really pumped us all up," said Manuel. "We definitely wanted to finish off the meet on a good note."

Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu got it done yet again, Hungary's "iron lady" sweeping to gold in the women's 400m individual medley to become the first female swimmer to win five world titles in a single event.

"We Hungarians like it when everyone is bleeding and we have to go into war," said Hosszu, who threw up after the final. "It felt like a bit of a dogfight. But I like it this way, bring it on!"

Germany's Florian Wellbrock won a pulsating men's 1500m freestyle final to become the first swimmer to capture gold medals in two sports at a single world championship after winning the 10km open water title. Australia didn't have a swimmer in the final of an event its dominated historically after Jack McLoughlin was only 16th fastest in the heats.

Elsewhere on the final night, American Lilly King crushed Russian Yulia Efimova to retain her 50m breaststroke title, while Japan's Daiya Seto romped to gold in the men's 400m individual medley to become the first male swimmer to capture three world titles in the event.

AUSSIES SECOND ON MEDAL TALLY

Ariarne Titmus won the only individual gold medal for Australia. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Ariarne Titmus won the only individual gold medal for Australia. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Australia rallied to finish second behind the United States on the table with 19 medals, including five gold. The US topped the tally with 27 medals and 14 gold.

It is a remarkable turnaround since Australia's dismal 2017 world swimming titles.

Their Gwangju tally almost doubles their medal count two years ago when they finished a lowly eighth with 10 medals and a solitary gold, failing to win a single relay event.

In contrast, Australia won four of the first six relays held in South Korea.

Australia won only one individual gold in South Korea - but it was a doozy. Teenager Ariarne Titmus pulled off a stunning 400m freestyle gold, marking American great Katie Ledecky's first loss over the distance at a major meet since 2012.

AUSTRALIA'S MEDALLISTS AT GWANGJU

Gold: Ariarne Titmus (400m freestyle), women's 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m mixed medley relay, women's 4x200m freestyle relay, men's 4x200m freestyle relay

Silver: Kyle Chalmers (100m freestyle), Mack Horton (400m freestyle), Matthew Wilson (men's 200m breaststroke), Cate Campbell (100m freestyle), Ariarne Titmus (200m freestyle), Minna Atherton (100m backstroke), Kaylee McKeown (200m backstroke), women's 4x100m medley relay, 4x100m mixed freestyle relay

Bronze: Mitch Larkin (100m backstroke), men's 4x100m freestyle relay, Cate Campbell (50m freestyle), Ariarne Titmus (800m freestyle), Emma McKeon (100m butterfly)