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France’s Agnel takes world gold in 200m freestyle

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-31

France’s Yannick Agnel on Tuesday won the men’s 200m freestyle gold medal at the world swimming championships in Barcelona, clocking in at 1min 44.20 seconds, more than one second ahead of Conor Dwyer of the US.

Olympic champion Yannick Agnel added the men's 200m freestyle world title to his growing collection at the swimming world championships as he demolished a powerful field in Tuesday's final.

France's Agnel clocked 1min 44.20secs, more than a second ahead of Conor Dwyer of the USA, who finished second at 1.12 back with Russia's Danila Izotov 1.39sec adrift in third.

This was Agnel's second gold at the eight-day long Barcelona championships after Sunday's victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Just as he did in the London 2012 final, Agnel led from the first turn and was well clear of the field by the final length leaving Dwyer, his training partner since moving to the USA after his Olympic triumph, in his wake.

"This is as beautiful as London," beamed the 21-year-old Frenchman who is coached by Bob Bowman, the American who coached 18-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps.

"I wasn't expecting this, I said to myself I will swim as I did in London and see what happens.

"All my family are here.

"I didn't see anything during the race."

The towering Frenchman said it was "magic" to win the final by more than a second and had answered any critics of his move from France to Baltimore, to work with Bowman.

"I said even if I came back with silver I would still have answered them and to get gold provides them with an even better response. Perfect in fact," he said.

There was disappointment for Ryan Lochte, the 2011 world champion from Shanghai, who finished fourth, 1.44 behind Agnel.

"It wasn't my night, but I have to put it behind me because I still have many races to swim," admitted the American star, who has 12 gold medals from previous world championships.

Izotov said he had felt some pressure to perform after swimming the anchor leg for Russia's in Sunday's 4x100m freestyle final, but just missing gold by 0.26secs as the Russians finished with bronze.

"It was a very hard race, I felt some pressure after the relay," said the 21-year-old.

"My competitors were very strong and it's a great pleasure to swim against them.

"I think I could do it better, but I am glad to have another bronze."

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-07-31

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