James Guy won Great Britain’s second gold of the Fina Aquatics World Championships in Kazan in the men’s 200 metres freestyle, having wondered if he would even make the final.
It was another success for Britain after Adam Peaty took gold in the 100m breaststroke on Monday.
City of Derby ace Peaty also made an impact yesterday, breaking the world record in advancing to today’s 50m breaststroke final.
Guy won silver in the 400m freestyle on Sunday before going one better over four lengths in a final full of quality swimmers.
The 19-year-old, who trains at Millfield School in Somerset, won in a British record of one minute 45.15 seconds.
China’s Sun Yang was second in 1 min 45.20 secs and Paul Biedermann of Germany third in 1:45.38, while Ryan Lochte was fourth.
Guy led after 100m, but trailed both Sun and Lochte with one length to go before digging deep to record a memorable triumph over a field stacked with Olympic and world champions.
“I never thought about beating Sun Yang or anyone,” Guy said on swimming.org after breaking his own British record, which had stood at 1:45.43, in recording the fastest time in the world this year.
“I never thought I’d even make the final. The main focus for me was the 400m free and I was so happy with silver but I did want to go a little faster in that final.
“I just thought about swimming my own race and getting my tactics right and if I beat anyone it was a bonus.
“I never thought I’d win the 200m as well so it’s a nice feeling.”
Guy says he has room for improvement after swimming in lane five alongside Lochte, the American who made underwater gains by kicking on his back out of turns.
“There’s more there for me,” Guy said.
“You look at Ryan Lochte’s underwater phases and he’s like a dolphin. So if I had them, I could go even faster.”
Peaty was in the pool again for the non-Olympic 50m breaststroke and advanced to the final from his semi-final in a world record of 26.42.
That broke the mark set by Cameron van der Burgh in yesterday morning’s heats of 26.62. The South African is likely Peaty’s main rival again in todday’s final.
“I feel pretty stoked really,” Peaty said.
“It’s going to be a good final. Cameron’s a great guy and it’s going to be a great race tomorrow.”
It has been a strong championships for Britain in the pool, with five medals, two of them gold, and competition running until Sunday.
Chris Walker-Hebborn, Liam Tancock and Lauren Quigley were all in 100m backstroke final action on day three.
Walker-Hebborn was fifth and Tancock and Quigley were both eighth.
American Katie Ledecky put on the performance of the evening, winning the women’s 1500m freestyle in a world record of 15:25.48 before returning to the pool around 20 minutes later to qualify for today’s 200m freestyle final.