Swimming-Australia's Winnington cruises to 400m freestyle gold

Swimming - FINA World Championships - Budapest, Hungary - June 18, 2022 Australia's Elijah Winnington celebrates after winning the men's 400m freestyle final REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Australia's Elijah Winnington produced a strong finish to win the 400 metres freestyle race on the opening day of the swimming world championships in Budapest on Saturday, earning his first individual gold medal in the competition.

The 22-year-old finished in three minutes and 41.22 seconds, going 1.63 seconds faster than Germany's Lukas Martens, who claimed silver at the Duna Arena.

Brazil's Guilherme Costa took the bronze while Austria's Felix Auboeck, who dominated the heats earlier in the day, could only manage fourth despite a solid start.

Earlier, Japan's Yukiko Inui bagged the first gold at the 19th edition of the worlds, winning the women's solo technical event with 92.8662 points. Ukraine's Marta Fiedina earned the silver while Greece's Evangelia Platanioti took bronze.

The world championships, originally scheduled to take place in Fukuoka, Japan before being shifted to the Hungarian capital due to COVID-19 concerns, will run until July 3.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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