Joanne Jackson and Rebecca Adlington won the British Gas swimming team's first medals as they took silver and bronze respectively in the women's 400m Freestyle.
The final was set to be one of the fastest in history and it didn't disappoint as Federica Pellegrini became the first woman in history to break the four-minute mark for the 400m Freestyle.
The race had the home-crowd and the British Gas team on their feet as Jackson got off to the best start and turned in the lead at the 50m mark.
Pellegrini took the lead from Jackson at the 100m point and the Olympic bronze medallist remained just on her shoulder for the remainder of the race. At the 300m mark Pellegrini was turning inside her own world record and Jackson remained half a second behind her.
Adlington was lying in third place from the 100m mark and in the final 50m she closed in on Jackson. Pellegrini touched in a world record time of 3:59.15 and Jackson won the silver in new British record time of 4:00.60. Adlington took bronze in a new personal best time of 4:00.79.
"It seemed like the whole of Italy was out there tonight cheering on Federica and it pushed us all to the finish," Jackson said. "To see those kinds of crowds watching that type of amazing racing is what it's all about. It helps when there's two of us in a race like that but Federica was in a class of her own tonight."
Adlington, who qualified eighth fastest for the final, added: "I'm so happy with that swim and world championship medal. I was bitterly disappointed with my heat swim. I didn't feel good this morning, I've struggled to find my rhythm in this meet but it was much better tonight and I'm delighted to have a world championship medal.
"There's more expectation and pressure on me so to come off the back of the Olympics and get a world medal means everything."
The British Gas women's 4x100m Freestyle relay team, who broke the British record in this morning's heats, went into the final with confidence. The team of Fran Halsall, Caitlin McClatchey, Katherine Wyld and Amy Smith posted a new British record time of 3:36.99 in seventh place. The gold went to the Netherlands in a new world record time of 3:31.72. Germany took the silver in 3:31.83 and bronze was won by Australia in 3:33.01
In his major championship comeback, Michael Phelps helped Olympic champions the United States retain their men's 100 metres freestyle relay title at the world championships on Sunday. The American team of Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers and Nathan Adrian finished in a time of three minutes, 9.21 seconds to come home ahead of Russia and France.
Phelps swam the first leg and although individual Olympic 100m champion Alain Bernard kept the French in the hunt in the second leg they faded in the final 200 and had to settle for third.Reuse content