Sprenger gives Aussie men a much-needed boost

July 29, 2013
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Australia's Christian Sprenger reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 100m breaststroke final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, July 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Christian Sprenger has given the Australians their first gold medal of the world swimming championships with a victory in the 100-meter breaststroke.

World-record holder Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa led at the turn, under the pace he set at last summer's London Olympics. But Sprenger rallied on the return lap, touching in 58.79 seconds for the gold. Van der Burgh was second in 58.97, while Brazil's Felipe Lima took the bronze in 59.65.

On just the second night of pool swimming in Barcelona, the Australian men already have avoided the gold-medal shutout they had in London. The program underwent a major organizational shake-up after that dismal performance.

American Kevin Cordes finished seventh, while teammate Nicholas Fink was last in the eight-man final.