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Swimming stars suffer shock defeats

BUDAPEST (AFP) – Chinese superstar Sun Yang and American sensation Katie Ledecky suffered surprise defeats at the world championship on Wednesday while the USA twice broke the mixed medley relay world record.

Italy’s Gabriele Detti was the surprise winner of the men’s 800m freestyle – the event Sun had dominated for the last three world championships – as the 25-year-old Chinese flopped and trailed home in fifth.

Sun, a winner in the 200m and 400m freestyle already in Budapest, produced an uncharacteristically poor performance and was never in contention as he finished 8.10 seconds off Detti’s winning time of 7:40.77.

‘‘I was too tired towards the end, my arms and legs were very tired,’’ said Sun. ‘‘I spent 70 percent of my energy on the 200m and 400m and I didn’t have enough left, when I go back home I will reflect on whether to keep doing the 800m.’’

Ledecky made history on Tuesday as the first woman to claim 12 world championship titles, but the 20-year-old was pipped to gold in the women’s 200m freestyle by Italy’s Federica Pellegrini.

Ledecky, a gold medallist in the 400m, 1500m and 4x100m freestyle in Hungary, was forced into a share of second place, but vowed that losing will motivate her for years.

Former Olympic champion Pellegrini snatched gold on the wall, winning in 1:54.73, as Ledecky and Australia’s Emma McKeon both clocked 1:55.18 to take silver.