Budapest 2017: Great Britain sensationally defend World 4x200m freestyle relay crown

British quartet staged a stunning finish to come from sixth at the half-way stage to win Gold in Hungary, ahead of Russia and the United States.

Budapest 2017: Great Britain sensationally defend World 4x200m freestyle relay crown
Photo: Ian MacNicol / Getty Images

Great Britain sensationally defended their men's 4x200m freestyle relay world title, coming from behind to overhaul the rest of the field to win Gold, at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

The quartet of Stephen Milne, Nicholas Grainger, Duncan Scott and James Guy took a thrilling win to claim the British team's fourth Gold medal of the Championships.

In the 200m breaststroke, Ross Murdoch was unable to continue British male swimming's domination of the breaststroke events following Adam Peaty's double defence of his world titles earlier this week, as the Scot finished narrowly outside the medals in fourth.

Repeat relay glory

With the British quartet looking to defend their world title from Kazan two years ago, the team of Stephen Milne, Nicholas Grainger, Calum Jarvis and Duncan Scott qualified second fastest for the final earlier on Friday, less than two-tenths behind Australia.

With James Guy replacing Calum Jarvis the 21 year-old took on the last leg, aiming for a repeat of his stunning final four lengths to take Gold in 2015. 

With the American and Russian teams racing out to an early lead, the Brits were beginning to fall behind and were sixth and the 400 metre point. With their strongest two swimmers bringing them home however hope remained of the late comeback.

As Duncan Scott went from Sixth to Third, he handed over to Guy on the anchor leg. Guy, who had suffered double disappointment in both the 400 and 200 free earlier in the week - but had finished second fastest in the 100m semi-finals earlier - was determined to make amends.

Buoyed by his individual swim, Guy surged through into the lead and held off a late fightback from Russia on the last length, as the British team keep their world relay title.

Murdoch finishes fourth

In the 200m breastroke, Ross Murdoch, a European and Commonwealth champion was seeking accolades on the world stage, having been overlooked for the Olympics in Rio last summer, as teammate Peaty continued his stratospheric rise.

Qualifying third-fastest in the 200m breaststroke  - winning his semi-final, the Scot had made his rivals known of his own presence.

As the pressure was ramped in the final with medals at stake, the Dunbartonshire man played a similarly cool race from the back. Turning with 50 metres left, Murdoch sat in third stalking his opponents in Lane Three. 

With the big guns of champion in Rio, Ippei Watanabe, Anton Chupkov and Yasuhiro Koseki in the middle lanes however, the Briton was but unable to keep pace and was pushed down into fourth place, as Russian Chupkov took the Gold.

Sjöström stunned

Elsewhere, in the women's 100m freestyle final, American Simone Manuel shocked reigning world champion and world record holder Sarah Sjöström, pipping the Swede to Gold.

Sjostrom at the 50m turn was under her won record pace - seemingly in control - but faded badly over the last few strokes to be overtaken by Manuel. Sjostrom recorded a time well below than her qualifying time of four days ago, to the amazement of the Duna Arena crowd.

In the men's 200m backstroke, Russian Eygeny Rylov - coached by former British world medallist James Gibson - held off a late charge by Olympic champion Ryan Murphy for Gold having after led the field for most of the race, as fellow American Jacob Pebley took the bronze.

Also, after taking a stunning Gold in the men's 50 butterfly, Ben Proud safely qualified for Saturday's 50m free final, finishing joint-third fastest.

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