Sport | Swimming

Erika Fairweather suffers setback in 800m freestyle final in Japan

The 19-year-old couldn’t add to her stunning medal-winning performance at the world champs

Ngāi Tahu's Erika Fairweather has finished 8th in the 800m freestyle final at the 2023 Aquatics World Championship in Fukuoka, Japan.

Erika Fairweather (Ngāi Tahu) has been unable to add to her stunning 400m freestyle bronze at the world champs in Japan following a setback in the 800m freestyle final.

After she became just the fifth-ever woman to go under four minutes in the 400m freestyle earlier this week, Fairweather was undone by cramp in the 800m as she looked to add a second medal at the 2023 Aquatics World Championship in Fukuoka, Swimming NZ said Sunday.

Competing in the final against the likes of American Katie Ledecky - who went on to win her sixth consecutive women’s 800m freestyle world title - and Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, the current 200m and 400m freestyle Olympic champion, Fairweather held her own over the first 250m before cramp took hold of her left hamstring.

The Dunedin swimmer was unable to battle back into the race and finished 8th in a time of 8:28.21, markedly slower than her 8:18.00 at the NZ championships in April.

The event concluded a successful meet for Fairweather who picked up her first ever world championship medal.