KAZAN - Girl power prevailed at the world swimming championships on Monday as three women’s records fell and Hungary’s ‘Iron Lady’ Katinka Hosszu lived up to her nickname. After Katie Ledecky bettered her own 1500m freestyle world record in the morning’s heats and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom broke her 100m butterfly mark, Hosszu claimed the 200m individual medley record which has stood since 2009.

The Hungarian’s achievement was all the more impressive as the 26-year-old clocked two mins 06.12 secs to take gold in the 200m IM final and shave 0.03secs off Ariana Kukors’ previous record from the 2009 world championships in Rome. The US swimmer set the time in the era of the super-fast neoprene suits, which have since been banned and Hosszu has been chasing the record.

“Honestly, I was just trying to race,” beamed Hosszu, who will also be defending her world 400m IM crown in Kazan. “Obviously, the record was on my mind, it was my goal. But before the race I was just trying to give my best and race as fast as possible, and then there was a record. It was just perfect.”

Sjostrom was equally as delighted as she shaved 0.15secs off her own record — set in Sunday’s semi-finals - to retain the world title she won two years ago in Barcelona by winning the 100m butterfly gold. “I have been waiting six years to break my personal best time and now I have taken a few more tenths of a second off it - finally!” said Sjostrom as Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen came second with China’s Lu Ying third.

Ledecky, who also holds the 800m record, hinted she could yet send more records tumbling in Tuesday’s 1500m final. “It felt pretty easy,” said Ledecky, who also came within a second of her 400m freestyle world record while winning Sunday’s final. “I am pretty shocked that I was able to do that.”

Ledecky only recently finished high school in Maryland, but this is the eighth time the teenager has set a world record in her fledgling career. It is the fourth time the defending champion has broken the 1,500m record alone having first achieved the feat in Barcelona two years ago on her way to winning the world title. Great Britain claimed three medals on Monday as Adam Peaty became the first Brit to win the 100m breaststroke world title for 40 years when he beat South Africa’s Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh on the wall.

Scotland’s Ross Murdoch took bronze behind Peaty while teenager Siobhan Marie O’Connor claimed 200m IM bronze behind Hosszu. Florent Manaudou won the men’s 50m butterfly title to claim his second gold in Kazan after helping France retain the 4x100m freestyle relay title on Sunday. Australia’s Mitchell Larkin was the fastest into the men’s 100m backstroke final on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old set a new Oceania record of 52.38secs with France’s Camille Lacourt, the world 50m champion, just behind at 0.32 back with Olympic champion Matt Grevers of the United States at 0.35secs in what promises to be a fast final.

There will be a battle royal in the women’s 100m breaststroke final on Tuesday with crowd favourite Yuliya Efimova of Russia, who is back competing after serving a 16-month doping ban for taking steroids, going head to head with 18-year-old Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte. The Russian was the fastest into Tuesday’s final after clocking 1:05.60 in her semi, but Meilutyte, the world record holder, touched the wall just 0.04secs slower.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm is on course for her second gold in Kazan. She was the fastest qualifier into Tuesday’s 100m backstroke final by clocking 58.56secs. Reigning world and Olympic champion Missy Franklin of the USA was fifth fastest at 0.86 back, having beaten Seebohm into second two years ago in Barcelona.

China’s long-distance expert Sun Yang had to settle for second in his 200m freestyle semi-final heat behind 15-time world gold medallist Ryan Lochte of the USA as both qualified for Tuesday’s final. It promises to be a mouth-watering occasion with Germany’s world record-holder Paul Biedermann through as Australia’s Cameron McEvoy and Britain’s James Guy also posted quick times.