The United States returned to head the medal table, open water swimming and the 1m event in diving debuted in the competition programme, Krisztina Egerszegi won the first and second World Championships gold medal and the men’s Yugoslav water polo team defended their world title. All happened in Perth, at the 6th FINA World Championships.
In 1991 Perth and Australia started a ‘World Championships series’ as the Event returned to the city in just seven years’ time, while another location down-under – Melbourne – hosted the FINA World Championships in 2007.
Altogether 60 nations competed in Perth – the previous record (52) happened in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in 1982.
The US delegation finished on top of the medal table with 17 gold, 11 silver and 6 bronze medals. China finished in second with 8 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze, while Hungary was the third with their 5 gold, and 2-2 silver and bronze medals. Nineteen nations earned at least one medal in Perth.
Diving - Chinese dominance
In the ‘post-Greg Louganis’ era, the Chinese dominance increased in Perth, however they won only one out of the three male events, the 10-meter platform, by Sun Shuwei (his compatriot, Xiong Ni finished second). A year later he became Olympic champion in Barcelona, and wrote history by once again winning the 10-meter synchronised platform event in Perth in 1998.
All female events went to the Chinese ladies at the 6th FINA World Championships. The legendary diver Gao Min triumphed on 1m and 3m, while Fu Minxia finished first in the 10m event.
Open water swimming - USA and Australia writing history
Open water swimming made its World Championships debut in Perth. The home team won one gold medal (Shelley Taylor-Smith).
Among the men, American Chad Hundeby triumphed memorably in front of Italian and Australian opponents.
Synchronised Swimming - Americans came back to the top
While two years before in Madrid Canada won all three synchro events, in Perth the Americans were better, Canada only triumphed in the solo event (Sylvie Fréchette).
Water polo – Title-defender Yugoslavs
The defending men’s champion Yugoslavs were only once defeated in Perth (by the Soviet Union in the group phase). Later they beat the Americans in the semi-final, and triumphed over Spain by one goal (8-7) in the final, thus defending their World title. The bronze medal went to Hungary.
The Netherlands became World champions without a single game lost in the women's tournament (with the participation if nine teams). In the final, the Dutch squad beat Canada by seven goals (13-6).
Swimming - Five Hungarian gold medals
Only the US delegation won more World titles this time in swimming - the Hungarian national team collected five gold, two silver and one bronze in Perth.
Tamás Darnyi has defended his world title in the 200 and 400m individual medley with a world record. The third Hungarian gold went to Norbert Rózsa who won the 100 breaststroke final.
Among the women, Krisztina Egerszegi won both the 100 and the 200m backstroke finals – these are the only two World titles the Hungarian legend has ever won.