Biedermann smashes 400 freestyle world record

ROME Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:58pm EDT

1 of 2. Paul Biedermann of Germany reacts after setting a new world record in the men's 400m freestyle final at the World Championships in Rome July 26, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi

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ROME (Reuters) - Germany's Paul Biedermann ripped up Ian Thorpe's world record to win the men's 400 meters freestyle final at the world championships on Sunday.

Biedermann swam 3 minutes 40.07 to beat Australian Thorpe's 2002 mark by one hundredth of a second.

Tunisia's Olympic 1,500m champion Oussama Mellouli was second with China's Zhang Lin third.

"It was a wonderful moment," Biedermann told reporters. "I had great opposition to push me to this world record. It was my day today."

Thorpe retired before the full introduction of hi-tech swimsuits, which have caused a raft of world records and are set to be banned from January.

(Reporting by Mark Meadows and Ian Simpson; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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