Mack Horton dominated the 1500m freestyle final in FINA’s World Junior Championships on Saturday as Australia topped the meet’s medal table.
The 17-year-old Victorian eclipsed the previous championship record by nearly 15 seconds, hitting the wall in 14min 56.60sec and finishing 12 seconds clear of his closest rival.
Leading all the way, Horton had a 15 metre gap on the rest of the field by the 200 metre mark and his performance would have been good enough for sixth place at the recent senior World Championships in Barcelona.
Horton recorded personal best times in winning all four of his events, enjoying Championship records in the 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle and the boys’ 4x100m freestyle relay.
“This week has been insane, I have set times in races that I never thought I could and it feels amazing.” the emerging talent said.
“I guess I’m a more confident swimmer now, if I had gone to Barcelona I would have only had the one race, whereas here I was able to test my speed and gain more experience in a number of events.”
Horton will head home with seven medals; four individual golds in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle and three relay medals, gold in the boys’ 4x100m, silver in the 4x200m free and a gold in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay.
The Australian team finished top of the table with a total of 18 medals, including 10 gold.
Queenslander Luke Percy and Victorian Jemma Schlicht added the final individual medals to the total for their efforts in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly respectively.
Percy finished second to American Caleb Dressell who bettered Percy’s championship record with a new best time of 48.97sec.
Schlicht swam a personal best time to bag the bronze medal in the girls’ 100m butterfly final with 59.08.