BUDAPEST: While American Katie Ledecky and Australian Elijah Winnington gained redemption for Tokyo Olympic disappointment, young Frenchman Leon Marchand made clear he had Paris on his mind after a scorching medley on the first evening of the World Swimming Championships Saturday in Budapest. In the 400m freestyle relays, the Olympic champions continued their domination as the US men and Australian women both won with a second to spare. Marchand outdid his father Xavier, a world medley silver medallist in 1998, as he won with the second-fastest men’s 400m medley time in history. The 20-year-old finished in 4min 4.28sec, just over a third of a second outside the record set by Michael Phelps in Beijing in 2008. American Foster Carson, 20, was second at 2.28sec with US Olympic champion Chase Kalisz was third. Marchand moved from his native Toulouse to the United States after last summer’s Olympics to swim for the Arizona State University team coached by Bob Bowman, who mentored Phelps. Marchand trailed Carson through 200m before unleashing a sizzling breaststroke which he had kept under wraps in the morning heats. He started the final freestyle leg a second inside the world record before fading. He was also almost 19 seconds faster than his father’s time in the worlds in 1998. Ledecky, 25, had been eclipsed in the women’s 400m freestyle by Australian Ariarne Titmus, who took her world title in 2019, her Olympic title last year and her world record last month. With Titmus focussing on the Commonwealth Games, Ledecky broke her own world championship record as she held off a determined challenge from Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh to collect a 16th world championship gold. McIntosh became the third woman to dip under four minutes in a textile suit. American Leah Smith took bronze in 4:02.08. In the men’s 400m, Winnington won in 3:41.22, the fastest time in the event in a decade, to edge German Lukas Martens by 1.63sec with Brazilian Guilherme Pereira da Costa third. Winnington, 22, had gone to the Olympics as the favourite, but slumped to seventh in a final won by surprising Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia, who did not enter Saturday’s event. In the men’s 400m relay, the US only started Caeleb Dressel and Brooks Curry from the quartet who won in Tokyo but left Australia trailing in second with Italy third. Only Meg Harris remained from the Australian 400m relay team that set a world record in the Olympics. They were still too strong for second-place Canada and third-place United States. Sunday’s competition will offer four finals. They include Dutchman Arno Kamminga trying to pull out of absent Adam Peaty’s shadow in 100m breaststroke, Nicholas Santos chasing gold at 42 in the 50m butterfly and Hungarian veteran favourite Katinka Hosszu seeking an unlikely repeat of her 200m medley world title before her raucous and adoring fans.