Mack Horton has dismissed Sun Yang’s vicious celebration directed at the Australian after the Chinese swimmer took gold in the 400m freestyle at the world championships in Budapest.
Sun bounced back from his defeat to Horton at the Rio Olympics with his third world title.
The 25-year-old did not shake Horton’s hand in the water after the race, instead splashing the water, shaking a fist and hoisting his index finger at his rival.
Horton told Channel 7 immediately after the race that the celebration was not surprising.
But Sun was more civil out of the water, shaking Horton’s hand and offering a quick hug after the medal ceremony.
”A long time has passed since Rio,” Sun said.
”We both got stressed, we both calmed down. I made a renewed effort in my training, especially in the last half year.
”I believe in this event, I will keep doing better and better and so will he.”
Horton was less worried about losing to Sun than producing a time of 3:43.85, well down on his gold-medal time of 3:41.55 in Rio.