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Commonwealth Games: Australia breaks world record, Adam Peaty’s win streak ends

Australia swimming

SMETHWICK, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Madison Wilson, Kiah Melverton and Mollie O’Callaghan of Team Australia react in the Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay Final on day three of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2022 on the Smethwick, England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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Australia broke the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay world record and Adam Peaty lost a 100m breaststroke at a major international meet for the first time at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Madison Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus combined to clock 7:39.29 in Birmingham, Great Britain. They took 1.04 seconds off China’s world record from the Tokyo Olympics.

Titmus, the Olympic 200m free and 400m free champion, recorded the fastest 4x200m free relay split in history of 1:52.82, crushing the previous record of 1:53.45 set by Italian Federica Pellegrini at the 2009 World Championships.

In May, Titmus became the first swimmer other than Katie Ledecky to break a Ledecky world record, taking down Ledecky’s best time in the 400m free.

Titmus skipped last month’s worlds, where she would have faced Ledecky, to focus on Commonwealths.

Titmus and Ledecky have not gone head-to-head since Tokyo and may not do so until next summer’s worlds in Fukuoka, Japan.

Earlier Sunday, the Brit Peaty was fourth in the 100m breast, an event where he won every Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth Games title from 2014 through 2021.

Peaty, who owns the 17 best times in history led by the world record of 56.88, clocked 59.86 in Sunday’s final, two and a half months after breaking a bone in his right foot, causing him to miss June’s worlds.

“Lack of training, lack of racing, it is what it is,” the 27-year-old said on the BBC. “I’m a fighter. Sometimes you have got to have these moments to keep on fighting, really. ... This is a huge moment for me, really, because it’s a part of my career now where you choose to go on or keep fighting or whatever. I know this is probably my last Commonwealth Games.”

Had Peaty repeated his semifinal time from Saturday, he would have taken gold over countryman James Wilby. Peaty led by .13 at the 50-meter mark in the final and was passed by three men in the last 20 meters.

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