China's Sun wins 3rd straight world title in 400 freestyle

KAZAN, Russia (AP) Sun Yang of China has won the first gold medal of pool swimming at the world championships in Russia.

The current Olympic champion won the men's 400-meter freestyle in 3 minutes, 42.58 seconds on Sunday night, his third consecutive world title in the event.

Sun is coming back following a three-month doping ban last year after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

James Guy of Britain was under world-record pace through the first half of the race, but Sun pulled slightly ahead approaching the 350-meter wall. Sun built a bigger lead over the final lap to clinch the victory. He sat on the lane line and clenched both fists in celebration.

Guy won the silver medal in 3:43.75 and Ryan Cochrane of Canada took the bronze in 3:44.59.

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

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.