Australia win 4x1500m open water relay in 0.2sec photo finish from Italy at world swimming championships

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Australia has won gold in a thrilling photo finish to the open water relay at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.

The Aussie quartet of Moesha Johnson, Chelsea Gubecka, Nick Sloman and Kyle Lee came out victorious in the 4x1500m open water relay, just pipping Italy to the post at the end.

Italy’s Domenico Acerenza had the lead over Lee heading into the final stretch but the Aussie made up ground and managed to get his fingertip on the yellow touchpad just before the Italian.

Open water races are the marathons of the swimming world, but somehow they always seem to come down to the last touch, and Lee was lightning fast with his hand as he reached up to hit the touchpad.

The Australians had a nervous wait while the photo finish was reviewed but they won the race in a time of 1:03.28.0.

Italy were second in 1:03.28.0 and Hungary rounded out the podium finishing around half a minute later.

It caps a stellar campaign for Australia’s contingent of open water swimmers and divers ahead of the pool part of the world aquatic championships.

Gubecka claimed silver in the 5km race after Dutch Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal pipped her to claim the 5km/10km double. The distance swimmers will resume battle at this year’s Paris Olympics.

Meanwhile, Australia’s divers picked up their fourth medal at the world championships. Dynamic duo Anabelle Smith and Maddison Keeney secured silver in the 3m springboard synchronised final in Doha, finishing behind the dominant Chinese pair.

For 31-year-old Smith it was a third world championship medal 13 years since she won her first as a teenager with Sharleen Stratton in the same event in Shanghai 2011.

It took the Australian tally to four medals in the diving pool, headed by Alysha Koloi’s gold and Li Shixin’s silver in the 1m springboard events.

The bulk of Australia’s Paris-bound swim team have skipped the event in Doha to focus on the Olympics.

— With NCA Newswire