Sjostrom seals golden double as memorable Doha Worlds end

Sjostrom seals golden double as memorable Doha Worlds end

Alkass Digital

Twenty-four hours after winning the 50m butterfly title, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom bagged the 50m freestyle crown to complete a golden double as the memorable World Aquatics Championships - Doha 24 came to a close yesterday.

Eight gold medals were decided on the final day of the championships that saw many records being shattered during 17 days of top-notch action as Qatar hosted the first-ever World Aquatics showpiece in the Middle East with a resounding success.

Vice Chairperson of the Organising Committee of Doha 2024 Jassim bin Rashid Al Buainain waves the World Aquatics flag during the host city handover ceremony in Doha yesterday.

There was plenty of exciting action at the Aspire Dome yesterday with Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen, Australia’s Isaac Cooper and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte also notching up gold medals in style.

China though didn’t pick up a win on the last day, they topped the overall medals tally with 23 gold, eight silver and two bronze medals. The United States finished second with nine gold, six silver and eight bronze medals with Australia ending up as the third best side after earning seven gold, 12 silver and five bronze medals.

Over 2,600 athletes representing 204 countries and the World Aquatics Refugee Team competed across six sports and 75 medal events during the 21st edition of the flagship global aquatics. Hamad Aquatic Centre and the Old Doha Port also hosted the competitions during the extravaganza.

Best male swimmer of the tournament Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen with the best female swimmer of the tournament US’ Claire Curzan on the podium. AFP

World Aquatics President Husain Al Musallam praised the Doha 2024 organisers for delivering blockbuster championships.

“Doha has been an outstanding home for our athletes and our aquatics family. Our athletes have loved competing here, and I know that they would want me to give a very big thank you to all the organisers,” Al Musallam said during the World Aquatics Championships Handover Ceremony between Doha and the future 2025 hosts Singapore.

Vice Chairperson of the Organising Committee of Doha 2024, Jassim bin Rashid Al Buainain, said: “This Championship has proved that sport is a significant factor of unity and peace, and also showed us a humanitarian message when we saw refugee team athletes were part of the event. This Championship has mixed between competition and noble sportsmanship, where everyone spoke the language of unity, solidarity, and synergy in way of Olympic Charter.”

Athletes also gave thumbs up to Qatar’s excellent organisation with Katie Shortman, who won silver for Great Britain in artistic swimming, saying: “We just want to say that we love Qatar and have loved being here. The sports facilities are incredible, and it is wonderful to compete here.”

Sjostrom wins again as Wiffen shines

Yesterday, Sjostrom was in sublime form again as she took her world title tally to 14 in the 50m freestyle, clocking 23.69 in the final. Kate Douglass of the USA came was second after touching the wall in 23.91 followed by Poland’s Katarzyna Wasick, who finished the race in 23.95.

“I’m very, very proud to win this medal. It was a lot of pressure. It gives me the confidence coming up to Paris [Olympics] that I can handle all kinds of pressure. I’m super happy that I was able to swim such fast times in both butterfly and freestyle, especially in freestyle with that kind of pressure on me,” said the 30-year-old Sjostrom.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom in action during the final day of the Doha 2024. AFP

Wiffen also produced a performance to remember in 1500m freestyle, clocking 14:34.07 for an impressive win as Germany’s Florian Wellbrock finished second with a time of 14:44.61. France’s David Aubry (14:44.85) secured third position in the event.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I just wanted to give a good time and finish off like that. I’m content about my swim,” said Wiffen.

Meanwhile, Cooper became the first Australian to win the men’s 50m backstroke title after finishing at 24.13, outpacing 2023 champion Hunter Armstrong as the American finished second in 24.33. Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk 24.44 was third in the contest.

Meilutyte bounced back from a disappointing performance in the women’s 100m breaststroke, winning the third consecutive 50m breaststroke title after clocking 29.40 ahead of China’s Qianting Tang (29.51) and Italy’s Benedetta Pilato (30.01).

Meanwhile, the individual 400m medley titles went to New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt and Great Britain’s Freya Constance Colbert.

Armstrong, Nick Fink, Zach Harting and Matt King teamed up to give America the men’s 4x100m medley relay crown in 3:29.80, while Australia – Iona Anderson, Abbey Harkin, Brianna Throssell and Shayna Jack – won the women’s 4x100m medley relay in 3:55.98.