In what FINA President Mustapha Larfaoui has called ?the biggest and best in [the] history? of World Championships, athletes shattered a total of 15 world records during the 2007 event in Melbourne, Australia.
Team USA broke 12 of the records, five of which were carried out by 21-year-old superstar Michael Phelps. He broke Ian Thorpe?s 2001 record in the 200m free-style, three of his own records in the 400m individual medley, 200m individual medley and 200m butterfly, and as part of the 800m relay.
Americans Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin, Aaron Peirsol, Leila Vaziri, Margaret Hoelzer and Katie Hoff set new records, too. The men?s and women?s 800m free relay teams broke world records as well. The USA took home 20 of the 40 gold medals, and 36 medals overall.
Federica Pellegrini of Italy set a world record in the women?s 200m freestyle, only to have it broken the next day by Laure Manaudou of France by .95 seconds. The Australian women?s team broke its own world record in the 4x100m medley relay.
Phelps took home seven gold medals of his own, earning him ?Male Swimmer of the Meet? and tying with Mark Spitz for the most gold medals won in a single competition. (Spitz got seven golds at the 1972 Munich Olympics). Manaudou earned ?Female Swimmer of the Meet? for winning five medals.
In addition, the USA Water Polo women?s team claimed the 2007 title championship, with Betsey Armstrong named FINA outstanding goalkeeper and Lauren Wenger awarded women?s MVP award. The men?s team won top scorer award at 19 goals in seven matches, despite its failure to advance to medal rounds.