Simone Barlaam set a new world record today at the World Para Swimming Championships ©Getty Images

Italy had a sensational day at the World Para Swimming Championships as they claimed five gold medals which included a world record time set by Simone Barlaam.

Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Barlaam smashed his own world record of 53.03 seconds in the men's S9 100 metres freestyle as he clocked in after 52.23 in Madeira to cap off Italy's impressive haul at the Penteada Swimming Pool Complex in Funchal, Portugal.

France's Ugo Didier and triple Olympic champion Martin William of Australia made up the top three but were still some way off the pace with times of 55.35 and 55.45, respectively.

The Italians' first gold medal of the day came courtesy of Francesco Bettella in the men's S1 200m freestyle after recording a time of 5min 25.63sec, streets ahead of Greece's Dimitrios Kaypidis with 6:15.18 and Brazilian Jose Ronaldo Da Silva who finished in 6:52.23.

After a series of heats, Italy's Antonio Fantin won the next gold on offer in the men's S6 400m freestyle after beating Juan Jose Gutierrez Bermuda of Mexico and Brazil's Talisson Henrique Glock to the finish.

Xenia Palazzo won her first World Championships gold as she narrowly prevailed in the women's S8 100m freestyle final.

Palazzo, who won silver earlier in the Madeira event and at London 2019, was in sensational form as she posted a time of 1:06.93 ahead of Britain's Alice Tai and Cecilia Jeronimo de Araujo of Brazil in 1:07.16 and 1:07.90, respectively.

Monica Boggioni led an Italian one-two in the women's 200m SM5 individual medley with a time of 3:40.27 while Giulia Ghiretti claimed silver in 3:44.50.

Japan's Maori Yui bagged the bronze medal with 3:47.10 on the clock.

The action continues tomorrow in Portugal with 24 gold medals available.

Italy are currently top of the overall standings with 16 gold medals while the United States follow behind with 14 and Brazil occupy third place with 11 golds.