Mollie O’Callaghan has run for her third medal at the Budapest World Championships with the spearhead in the Australian 4x200m freestyle relay to silver.
However, although she was unable to bring home the main prize in the anchor leg in Wednesday’s final, the 18-year-old star also showed earlier with a stunning 100m freestyle that a second gold could soon be coming.
Thursday also offers the scent of another gold with Zac Stubblety-Cook ready to dominate the 200-meter front final to complete a double Olympic / World Championship double.
Their efforts helped bring the Dolphins back to their smiles, as Shayna Jack had earlier been forced to leave the league after slipping and breaking her arm in a warm-up area.
For the 23-year-old, the abrupt end to her first world competition after the end of the two-year doping ban left her “cracked”.
Jack posted a message on Instagram from the hospital, talking about her “shock and disbelief”, confirming the scans that showed she had a glomerulus in her fourth metacarpal.
“It was caused by a horrible accident during my warm-up in the 100 freestyle with another swimmer,” Jack said.
“To ensure the fastest possible recovery for my arm, I will return home to AUS for surgery.
“After the operation, the plan is to return to my teammates in the Charters, in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.”
Later, Queenslander O’Callaghan caught the eye as she tried to top the efforts of Madi Wilson, Leah Neale and Kiah Melverton in the previous three legs of the 4×200, revising the American anchor swimmer, Bella Sims.
But having competed in a thrilling 100-meter semifinal just an hour and a half earlier, O’Callaghan – the 200-meter individual silver medalist – could not get close to the Sims.
After a great job by Claire Weinstein, Leah Smith and the great Katie Ledecky, who made a decisive third leg, the Sims brought the US home with a championship record of 7 minutes 41.45 seconds, a long way from Australia (7 : 43,86).
O’Callaghan, however, had earlier shown a stunning performance in her individual half-time, scoring the fastest second half in a women’s race, delivering stunning shots from the last to first place in a landmark final of 26.43 seconds.
That was just one centimeter of a second slower than the first half of the race and her 52.85 seconds saw her advance faster to Thursday’s final, ahead of eight-time world champion Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, who won the other race.
Having also won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay, O’Callaghan could possibly finish with six medals, as she also has opportunities in the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 4x100m women’s mixed relay.
Stubblety-Cook seems untouchable in the Tokyo-winning race, clocking a time of 2: 06.72 in his 200-meter front semifinal, which was more than two seconds faster than his nearest challenger.
His own world record of 2: 05.95, set at the Adelaide National Championship last month, could well be in jeopardy as he looked to have more in reserve.
The Dolphins have now won a total of eight medals – two gold, five silver and one bronze – after five days of racing to finish fourth behind the United States (11 gold), Italy (four gold) and China (three). gold). ).
Teen Elizabeth Deckers made a breakthrough in the 200m butterfly, finishing fifth in the final in 2: 07.01 behind the remarkable young Canadian champion, Summer McIntosh, who set a junior world record of 2: 05.20.
The 15-year-old MacIntosh then scored another junior world title in the 4x200m freestyle with a time of 1: 54.79, which helped push Canada to the silver.
Kaylee McKeown had to settle for sixth in a 50-meter sprint overall finish – which was not her strongest discipline – but her time of 27.47 seconds was, unpleasantly, just 0.07 away from the medals as 0, 08 seconds separated the positions from the second to the sixth position. Canadian Kylie Masse won at 27.31.