Sun Yang captured the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle at the World Championships on Sunday.
Sun Yang captured the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle at the World Championships on Sunday.
Michael Sohn/AP

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Sun Yang of China has claimed the first gold medal of pool swimming at the world championships In Barcelona.

The reigning Olympic champion won the men's 400-meter freestyle with a time of 3 minutes, 41.59 seconds. He was under world-record pace through the first half of the race, faded a bit on the third leg, but turned it on at the finish to win in a romp. The 6-foot-6 swimmer climbed from pool and flexed both fists for the crowd at the Palau Sant Jordi.

Japan's Kosuke Hagino finished strong to claim the silver in 3:44.82. Connor Jaeger of the United States held on for the bronze in 3:44.85.

The men's 400 free is the first of four finals Sunday night.

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