Watch: Erika Fairweather Writes Her Name in History Books After Photo Finish at Doha Worlds

Published 02/11/2024, 12:06 PM EST

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For the last several instances, Erika Fairweather mindfully noticed reigns of the 400m free event go to the hold of Katie Ledecky, Summer McIntosh, or Ariarne Titmus. But instead of going into standstill mode, the New Zealander waited for a perfect occasion to stick her nomination on the annals of the 400m free swimming event. Last year, the Japanese scenic city, Fukuoka, earned Erika Fairweather to live up to her dream of earning a podium.

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There, she humbled Summer McIntosh by claiming the bronze medal. Now, in the Olympic year, the swimmer from down under wanted to extend her fairy run to another level. Eventually, the same World Aquatics Championships came to her rescue. But this time, the opponent list lacked Erika Fairweather’s battalion of known opponents. 

Erika Fairweather defeats Olympic medalist in registering new national record 

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The 400m event panned out to be another tussle between Erika Fairweather and Li Bingje to earn supremacy. However, Katie Ledecky’s absence in the event gave these two luminaries a clear ground to try their collision. But in defeating the Chinese spearhead, Erika Fairweather needed to claim records. Ultimately, she did that on Sunday evening. As per the result published, the New Zealander took 3:59.44 to defeat Li Bingje. 

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However, the Chinese Olympian chased her with a timing of 4:01.62. But with that ending, Erika earned the medal by replacing the old national record which she made last year in Fukuoka. Moreover, the World Aquatics’s X-handle disclosed another achievement of the 20-year-old swimmer. The caption, narrated, “Erika Fairweather wins the first ever gold for New Zealand at World Championships.”

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That ethereal performance almost echoed the sentiment that was visible in Erika’s statements last year. “I knew that everyone who has a lane, has a chance. I just thought ‘let’s surprise people and have a little bit of fun with it’”, she said in a conversation with Olympics. com. So on Sunday, when locking horns with the short course world champion, Erika believed in her grit. That eventually helped her to keep a thorough distance from Li Bingje. 

Summer McIntosh Accepts Defeat On American Soil After Disappointing Bronze At US Open Swimming Championship

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Still, the Paris Olympics remained her favorite wish, even after having a world title around her neck. So after finishing the race, she vehemently added, “In an Olympic year, you can’t count anyone out. You just have to prove it on the day.” So for the New Zealander, her day is almost here. But it would only be accomplished in full measure with an Olympic podium. 

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Written by:

Prasun Chakrabarty

416Articles

One take at a time

Hello there! I am Prasun Chakrabarty, an Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. Being an adrenaline junkie, I take a keen interest in creating insights about various avenues of the sporting realm. As an ardent swimming enthusiast, I take inspiration from the Baltimore Bullet Michael Phelps and love to create insights on various nooks and crannies around the turquoise turf.
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Edited by:

Sampurna Pal

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