Sport | Waikato-Tainui

Lewis Clareburt clinches historic world title

The Waikato-Tainui swimmer has qualified for the Paris Olympic games.

DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 18: Lewis Clareburt of Team New Zealand celebrates after winning gold in the Men's 400m Individual Medley Final on day seventeen of the Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championships at Aspire Dome on February 18, 2024 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Lewis Clareburt (Waikato-Tainui) secured his first world swimming title in the 400m individual medley at the World Aquatic Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Having qualified fifth place, he took the lead on the freestyle leg and with a time of 4 minutes, 09.72 seconds, he edged out Max Litchfield of Great Britain by 0.68 seconds. Daiya Seto of Japan finished third.

His time was slightly off his personal best, achieved at the Commonwealth Games and the win also qualifies him for the Paris Olympic Games.

Absent from the event was Leon Marchand, the two-time defending champion and world record holder though the field remained competitive, with Seto and American Carson Foster, who were both podium finishers at last year’s event.

Clareburt’s victory contributes to New Zealand’s medal tally at the World Championships, with the team finishing with four medals in total, including two golds. This performance marks a historic moment for New Zealand swimming, with Clareburt and Erika Fairweather (Ngai Tahu) being the country’s first swimmers to win world titles at the championships.