Can you believe it? Back-to-back World Records to cap the opening night in Melbourne

Count the young Italian Thomas Ceccon as a two-time World Record holder now: 

"We talked about the world record and then we went out and swam a world record time."
By Thomas Ceccon

Aussies turn back the clock on Team USA in a WR-setting effort

Emma, what was going through your mind bringing your team home to gold with that monster 49.96 anchor split? 

"For me, it was just about getting my hand on the wall and then looking to see that we had not only won but also set a world record."
By Emma McKeon

And Madi, to do this in front of your family and friends...

"To be able to do this in front of a home crowd was absolutely amazing.  Thank you Australia."

'King Greg' turns back the Viking Christiansen and resurgent Joly for 1500m title

Image Source: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Paltrinieri on opening the world championships with a win in the short course 1500m -- to go along with the near-WR gold he won in Budapest:

"It's great to be back on top after not winning this event in short course meters for a really long time. After the finish I felt as though I could have swum the race again. I had a lot of fun tonight."
By Gregorio Paltrinieri

On getting challenged in the mid-to-latter stages of the race:

"I know that I was being challenged by those guys but I was always confident. I was suffering the same as they were (due to the cold weather) but I was swimming my own race. I knew I was being chased and I was racing in short bursts until finally I made a move to win."
By Gregorio Paltrinieri

On moving more from open water racing back to the 25m pool:

"I am swimming more and more open water events and also a lot of long course training so training for short course swimming is just the opposite of what I am doing. So this really was a good result."
By Gregorio Paltrinieri

Silver-medal winning Damien Joly | "It's really a dream"

"It's amazing. I can't believe it. I'm so happy swimming in Australia for my first time, and as a thirty year old, and to get the silver medal. It is a personal best and a French National Record. It's really a dream and now I’m excited to keep going until Paris 2024."
By Damien Joly


Matt Sates' Big Break Through

You gotta watch them all, but you really have got to watch this one:

Matt Says...

"I genuinely don't know what to say. I'm so pleased with this swim and want to thank everyone for coming out to watch us race. I swam this race, especially for my Mom and I want to thank my friends and my family. My breaststroke leg was much better tonight than it was this morning. I will be swimming the 400 IM and as of now I really don't have any expectations in that race. We have been just training hard and just doing our thing."
By Matt Sates

Finlay Knox chips in on his bronze:

"It feels nice, and I was just so close to second. I’m hungry. And I'm just at the beginning."
By Finlay Knox

Kate Douglass Does It

Image Source: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

In what FINA statistician-turned-pundit called a 'Who's Who' of women's all-around swimming excellence, it was Kate Douglass of the USA who came away with the gold medal in Melbourne.  USA's Alex Walsh made it a 1-2 for USA as Kaylee McKeown charged hard for home but couldn't quite catch the 21-year-old American. 

Kate Says...

It felt great to come back after this morning and it was really important for me to be relaxed tonight. It's definitely nerve wracking to be racing in the first swim of the meet so to be able to swim well is honestly an awesome feeling.
By Kate Douglass

Alex "couldn't be happier" with silver:

"I thought I put together a really good race so honestly I couldn't be happier. Honestly, this morning I saw there was a lot of people in the stands, when Kayleigh walked out and I heard everyone cheering that was pretty awesome. It’s just so nice to have a crowd that loves swimming as much as Australia does, really, you guys are famous for that."
By Alex Walsh

Watch It Again | All Southern Hemisphere Duel in the Pool, World Champs Edition

Lani Said

Image Source: Matt King/Getty Images

"My parents are in the stands and winning this first medal in front of a home crowd in AUSTRALIA is special.  I am pleased to get this win out of the way.  I am far more comfortable in the 800m and 1500m distances, and this event was the one I was most concerned about.

"It was an amazing day and I was very very nervous this morning.  I just wanted to be sure that Australia had a fun night tonight.  It was the coolest environment. At the 300m mark I realized that I had legs and I made sure to use them and take a stab at the gold medal. 

"It wasn't that many years ago that I was watching Katie Ledecky like so many other little girls here tonight.  She is an incredible athlete and has been an inspiration to me since I was 12 years old.  Like others, I stepped out of the junior ranks and I have been fortunate to keep checking off boxes on this journey in my career."

Aussie Dolphins Start in Style | 

Women’s 400m Freestyle

Image Source: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Lani Pallister kept it close for the first 250m, then - much to the delight of the home crowd - dropped six consecutive sub-15 second lengths to take the Women's 400m Freestyle title, the first medal event here at the short course worlds in Melbourne.  

Top qualifier Erika Fairweather of New Zealand had the lead early and made a strong show of it to finish second, 3:55.04 to 2:56.00. For the Kiwis, Fairweather's silver is the country's second-ever medal in the event after Lauren Boyle took bronze back in 2012.

USA's Leah Smith moved up from fourth to third after 200m to finish in 3:59.78 for bronze. 

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