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Lewis Clareburt finishes fourth in 400m individual medley final at world championships

Lewis Clareburt finished fourth in the men's 400m individual medley final at the FINA World Championships in Hungary.

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Lewis Clareburt finished fourth in the men’s 400m individual medley final at the FINA World Championships in Hungary.

Lewis Clareburt has warmed up for the Commonwealth Games with a fourth place finish at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The 22-year-old from Wellington missed the podium, placing fourth in the final of the men’s 400m individual medley in 4:10.98 – 6.70 seconds back from French gold medallist Léon Marchand.

Marchand was in some touch, shattering the European record and almost breaking Michael Phelps’ world record. His time of 4:04.28 was the second fastest ever swum after Phelps’ 4:03.84 at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Clareburt’s time was quicker than what he swam in the final of the Tokyo Olympics last year (4:11.22) and placed better than his seed ranking of seventh. Battling a bout of Covid-19 in the lead-up to the event, Clareburt would have been encouraged by the result.

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He finished seventh in the final of the men’s 400m individual medley at the Olympics after qualifying second-fastest and leading at the halfway stage of the final.

Clareburt was the top Commonwealth swimmer in the final at the worlds with Australian Brendon Smith, the bronze medallist from Tokyo, placing fifth.

Erika Fairweather competes in the final of the women's 400m freestyle at the FINA World Championships.

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Erika Fairweather competes in the final of the women’s 400m freestyle at the FINA World Championships.

This week, he is back in action in the 200m individual medley with heats beginning on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time).

It was a strong opening day from New Zealand swimmers.

Erika Fairweather finished sixth in the final of the women’s 400m freestyle in 4:04.73 – 6.58 seconds back from brilliant United States swimmer Katie Ledecky. It was the 16th gold medal for Ledecky at the world championships, five more than any other female swimmer in history.

Fifteen-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh announced herself as a future challenger to Ledecky, taking silver in 3:59.39.

The 18-year-old Fairweather lowered her 400m freestyle heats time by just over a second, slightly off her time of 4:04.37 at the New Zealand championships in April.

Clareburt, Fairweather, and para swimming superstar Dame Sophie Pascoe will spearhead New Zealand’s 12-strong swimming team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

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