Swimming

Sun Yang eclipsed as Kristof Milak breaks 200m fly mark

Hungarian teenager clocks 1:50.73 to shatter Phelps' 10-year-old world record

Chinese star Sun Yang suffered defeat yesterday after a draining week in which he has clashed with rival swimmers over doping allegations, while Hungarian teenager Kristof Milak smashed Michael Phelps' 200m butterfly world record.

Triple Olympic champion Sun had already retained his 200m and 400m freestyle crowns in Gwangju,South Korea, but he finished a distant sixth in the 800m free final behind Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri, who claimed gold in 7min 39.27sec.

A brutal schedule looked to have taken its toll on Sun, who has been involved in angry confrontations with Australian Mack Horton and Britain's Duncan Scott after they snubbed him at two different medal ceremonies in response to bombshell claims made in a Fina doping panel report.

The leaked document alleged Sun allowed vials of blood to be smashed with a hammer after he was visited by testers last year.

"I was exhausted," said Sun. "My legs and arms felt sore - the hardest part is juggling a tight schedule, which I will have to do at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

An 11-time world champion, Sun accused Horton of "disrespecting China" by refusing to step onto the podium for the winner's national anthem after the 400m final last weekend.

And Sun, who has complained privately of being shunned by other athletes in South Korea, went eyeball to eyeball with Scott after Tuesday's 200m medal presentation.

The Briton ignored Sun's offer of a handshake and would not join him on the top step for photos, sparking a fiery reaction from the Chinese star.

The 27-year-old wagged his finger in Scott's face and yelled: "You loser, I win!"

Both men received formal warnings from Fina, as did Horton, but several athletes have come out in support of their silent protests.

After taking bronze in yesterday's 200m fly, South African Chad le Clos said: "What Duncan did was fantastic. He didn't shake his hand and I respect that - great move by him."

Horton called Sun a "drug cheat" at the 2016 Rio Olympics - in reference to a three-month ban Sun had served for taking a stimulant that he has always maintained was approved medication for a heart problem.

The Australian reignited their war of words with his snub last weekend, prompting Chinese state-run media to brand him a "clown" and online trolls to leave death threats on his social media accounts.

Australian swimming great Dawn Fraser waded into the controversy yesterday, when she said "Fina get off their backsides" to protect clean athletes.

"I personally don't think he should be swimming," she said.

"If he's proven not guilty, well that's fine, he can go back to swimming.

"I mean we go back to East Germany when all those German swimmers were caught with drugs.

"We want a clean sport and let's protest against it."

Meanwhile, Milak stormed to gold in the men's 200m fly, clocking a blistering 1:50.73 to shatter Phelps' 10-year-old mark by almost eight tenths of a second.

Astonishingly, silver medallist Daiya Seto of Japan touched more than three seconds behind the 19-year-old Hungarian.

"It's a tremendous honour to beat such a great record," said Milak, who has already set his sights on next year's Olympics.

"Everyone will try to catch me, but I will be ready."

Elsewhere, Britain's Adam Peaty completed an unprecedented hat-trick of world doubles in the 50m and 100m breaststroke as he romped to gold in the one-lap final in 26.06sec.

The 24-year-old, who crushed his own 100m world record earlier this week, became the only swimmer to win six breaststroke world titles. - AFP

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