Russia took triple gold across the 200-metre events at the world championships on Friday, thanks to Anton Chupkov and Yuliya Efimova in a breaststroke double and Evgeny Rylov in the backstroke.
They upstaged Simone Manuel, who claimed the top prize for the United States in the women's 100m freestyle. She had shared Olympic gold at the Rio Games last summer, but took the medal outright this time, beating top-ranked Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden.
Sjostrom had gone under the 52-second barrier in the 4x100m relay and was again under world-record pace at the turn. But Manuel, a 20-year-old Texan, clawed her way level with 25m left and with her final five strokes clocked an American-record time of 52.27 seconds.
“My legs were burning but I just really had to dig deep,” said Manuel, who was aged two when the U.S. won its last women's gold in the blue riband event in 1998.
“My path to swimming has just been a progress forward and a drop in time and trying to get better.”
Sjostrom finished 0.04 seconds back. Denmark's Pernille Blume took bronze.
“I am really disappointed, it is so sad when I can't do it the whole way,” said Sjostrom.
Among the Russians, Chupkov overhauled his Japanese rivals to claim men's 200m breaststroke gold in two minutes 06.96 seconds. Yasuhiro Koseki and Ippei Watanabe, the world record holder, had traded leads throughout before Chupkov produced a winning burst in the final 50m.
Russians take triple gold in Budapest; Manuel beats Sjostrom