9 Aug 2015

Ledecky in a class of her own

7:44 pm on 9 August 2015

The American Katie Ledecky has entered the record books after smashing the women's 800 metres world record to claim her fifth gold medal at the world championships.

Ledecky, the 18-year-old high school graduate, blitzed her way to gold in eight minutes 7.39 seconds, eclipsing the previous record of 8:11.00 which she set in Texas last year.

It was her third world record of the week and 10th of a glittering career.

The New Zealander Lauren Boyle upgraded her 2013 world bronze to claim silver, 10.26 seconds behind Ledecky, as she just held off Jaz Carlin of Britain by 0.50 seconds.

"I couldn't be happier with how that swim went and the whole meet has gone," Ledecky said.

"This one was very special in as much as the fatigue I could have got, so today shows that I can manage my schedule really well."

Ledecky's one-way win also saw her become the first swimmer across both genders to secure world titles over the 200 to 1500 metres distances.

Sun Yang of China had the same ambition, but was defeated in the men's 200m freestyle final.

"I don't really think about the historical aspects during the meet, but I guess I can now and I will cherish these moments," a beaming Ledecky added.

The Olympic champion Florent Manadou's sprinting prowess continued as the Frenchman took the men's 50 metres freestyle gold in 21.19 seconds.

Manadou had already won the men's 50m butterfly title.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom powered to the women's 50m butterfly title for her second gold of the week to become the first woman to claim the world butterfly double.

Chad le Clos won his first individual title of the week as the South African smashed his personal best in winning the men's 100 metres butterfly.

Chad le Clos wins Olympic gold in the 200m butterfly, 2012.

Chad le Clos wins Olympic gold in the 200m butterfly, 2012. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Le Clos, unbeaten in the event since London 2012, held the lead at the turn before creating daylight between himself and Laszlo Cseh to post 50.56 seconds.

But Le Clos' victory was overshadowed by Michael Phelps, who swam the second-fastest time ever recorded in the 100 metres butterfly at the United States championships in San Antonio on the same day.

The most decorated Olympian of all-time led from start to finish, clocking a stunning 50.45 seconds.

LeClos, after his victory, trash-talked Phelps, who declined to get involved in a slanging match when asked about the comments in a poolside interview.

The American Ian Crocker has the fastest time, 50.40, in the non-high tech suit era, set back in 2005.

The high-tech suits were banned in 2010.

Meanwhile, Serbia have won their second world water polo championship as an independent nation in an 11-4 rout of traditional rivals Croatia in the final on Saturday.

The Serbians, reigning European champions, stormed back from an early 2-0 deficit and turned the match on its head with six unanswered goals against the Olympic title holders.

Fullback Andrija Prlainovic led the winners with three goals and their ironclad defence, superbly marshalled by second-choice goalkeeper Branislav Mitrovic, stifled out the Croatians at the other end.

Trailing 5-2 at halftime, Croatia gave themselves a glimmer of hope by keeping the deficit down to three goals at the end of the third quarter (7-4) but ran out of the steam in the final eight minutes.

"It has been the greatest honour in my life to captain this team," said the Serbian captain Zivko Gocic.

Prlainovic was named the final's most valuable player.

"We've made history tonight because no one has won the world title so emphatically," he said. "It's been a privilege."

It was the first time the countries had met in a world final in any team sport as independent nations since the former Yugoslavia's break-up.