Park wins men's 400 freestyle gold at worlds

South Korea's Park Tae-hwan swims in a heat of the men's 400m Freestyle event at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Shanghai, China, Sunday, July 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

SHANGHAI (AP) — Beijing Olympic champion Park Tae-hwan took the early lead then pulled away with 100 meters left to win the 400-meter freestyle gold at the world championships.

Park finished in a time of 3 minutes, 42.04 seconds Sunday before a capacity crowd in the temporary pool at the Oriental Sports Center.

China's Sun Yang took the silver in 3:43.24 while Paul Biedermann of Germany, the world record holder and defending champion, earned the bronze in 3:44.14.

It was the first final on the opening night of the eight-night pool program at the world titles.