It was a race that he didn't even really want to swim. And yet when he did well in the heats, he decided to go for the gold.
Paul Biedermann is pure gold.
Germany's Paul Biedermann got the gold and broke the world record as a bonus when he won the 400 meter freestyle championship in Rome.
Once the race started, Biedermann was not running away with it, and was in fourth at the 100 meter mark. But then he started pushing ahead and finished the race in front of Tunisian Oussama Mellouli.
Biedermann's time of 3 minutes 40.07 seconds was a new world record, beating the previous record set by Ian Thorpe's in 2002 by one hundredth of a second.
"It was a wonderful moment," Biedermann said to reporters after the race. "I faced great opposition to push me to this world record. Today was my day."
In second place, Mellouli was 1.04 seconds off the pace, with the bronze medal going to to Chinese swimmer Zhang Lin.
Another world record was broken Sunday by the 15-year-old Swedish phenom Sarah Sjostrom, who set a new mark in the women's 100 meter butterfly.
Editor: Kateri Jochum