Brianna Throssell's brilliant career-first with Aussie swimming golden girls absent

The Aussie swimmer had never previously won an individual medal at a world championships.

Brianna Throssell, pictured here at the swimming world championships.
Brianna Throssell (L) won bronze in the 200m freestyle with Mollie O'Callaghan (second from L) and Ariarne Titmus (far right) missing from the swimming world championships. Image: Getty

Brianna Throssell has finally broken through for her first individual medal at a swimming world championships, taking advantage of the absence of Aussie superstars Ariarne Titmus and Mollie O'Callaghan. Throssell claimed bronze in the 200m freestyle in Doha on Wednesday night, with Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey taking the crown.

It marked a brilliant career first for Throssell, who had been on the podium 13 times previously at the world championships. But Wednesday's bronze medal was her first as an individual, with all of her others coming as part of relay teams.

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Titmus and O'Callaghan have opted to skip the world championships to focus on this year's Olympics in Paris instead. They are among a plethora of big names missing from the Doha event due to how close it is taking place before the Olympics.

On the plus side, it has allowed the likes of Throssell and Iona Anderson to thrive. Aussie teenager Anderson won silver in the 100m backstroke on Tuesday with world record holder Kaylee McKeown missing.

And although she won't even be competing in the 200m freestyle at the Olympics, Throssell was over the moon to finally experience individual glory. "Look, I won't be doing the 200 freestyle at the Olympics - I think Mollie and Ariarne have that covered," the 28-year-old said after the race.

"But it was an incredible opportunity for me to race here and my first time ever stepping on this podium individually. So I'm just so happy."

True to form, Throssell was part of the Australian mixed medley relay team who got silver in the 4x100m later in the night. Throssell teamed up with Sam Williamson, Bradley Woodward and Shayna Jack to finish second behind the American team. It means Throssell now has 15 medals in her career at world championships - and one very special individual one.

Bradley Woodward, Sam Williamson, Brianna Throssell and Shayna Jack.
Bradley Woodward, Sam Williamson, Brianna Throssell and Shayna Jack won silver in the mixed medley relay final.

Sam Williamson wins Australia's first gold medal of world titles

Williamson was the toast of the night for Australia after winning the Dolphins' first gold medal of the meet. Williamson clocked the fourth-fastest time in history to win the 50m breaststroke title ahead of Nicolo Martinenghi of Italy (26.39) and American Nic Fink (26.49).

"I'm really at a loss for words," he said as he pondered his dramatic rise in the event. "Eighteen months ago, I watched this race from the couch at home. Last year at the worlds, I was in lane eight, so just to get a chance to race these guys - I mean, they're my heroes - it's pretty special."

The Aussies claimed four medals on the night to take their overall tally to eight for the meet. Elijah Winnington had earlier captured an unexpected second silver medal of the championships in the 800m freestyle.

The Queenslander, who narrowly missed out on regaining his 400m freestyle title earlier in the meet, had another stellar swim in the 800m. He started under world record pace, but was inevitably overhauled as he tired.

He then rallyied past Gregorio Paltrinieri on the last lap to claim the silver in 7min 42.95sec, with Daniel Wiffen of Ireland taking the gold in 7:40.94. Wiffen's gold medal was the first ever for Ireland at a world championships.

"I knew that my speed was my strength and that if I tried to sit back, I probably just would have fallen apart," Winnington said. "So my coach and I just thought 'let's just go for it and see where we land', so I'm happy."

with AAP

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