Swim star Katie Ledecky dunks Michael Phelps as top world champ?

Rufina Vignone
Luglio 27, 2017

Katie Ledecky said defeat in the women's 200m freestyle final on Wednesday will motivate her "for a couple of years", after Italy's Federica Pellegrini snatched gold at the world championships.

In her post-race interview, Ledecky wasn't sure herself what exactly had happened, saying "I just didn't feel really like myself in the middle of the race".

The mixed medley relay was added to the world titles program two years ago and will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

Pellegrini, who broke 10 world records before she was 21, scuppered the hopes of silver medalist Ledecky becoming only the second swimmer, after Michael Phelps, to win at least two world titles in four different individual events.

The 28-year-old medaled in the 200 free at her seventh consecutive World Championships; she previously won gold in 2009 and 2011.

Fifty minutes later, Ledecky won her semifinal heat in the 200 meter free to advance to today's final.

Over the final 25 meters, Pellegrini looked well behind, and the announcers were exclusively focused on Ledecky and McKeon. The 20-year-old from Maryland finished in 1:55.18, tying for the silver medal with McKeon. For each of the past four seasons, she's taken on one of the toughest schedules you'll ever see, and performed flawlessly.

"Before the last 50 metres, I thought I was in the same position as Rio, I didn't know where I would get the energy". She is also slated to compete in the 800-meter free and the 800-meter free relay.

"Katie Ledecky is on another planet so the goal of the race was to win the silver medal".

"I was pretty happy with how I went even though I went quicker in the semi, because it takes a lot of guts to take it out like I did, especially in the final with the Olympic champion on one side of me and the world record-holder on the other", McKeon said. That's not to say she'll never break another world record, or that she's destined to become an average swimmer in the near future.

Katie Ledecky has made history at the world championships, and she's not done yet.

South African Chad le Clos edged a thrilling dual with Hungarian crowd favourite Laszlo Cseh in the men's 200m butterfly.

Australia took silver in 3:41.21 as bronze was shared between Canada and China, both in 3:41.25. Matt Grevers, Lilly King, Caeleb Dressel and Simone Manuel won gold with a time of 3:38.56, easily beating the mark of 3:40.28 put up by an entirely different USA foursome — Ryan Murphy, Kevin Cordes, Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford — in the morning preliminaries.

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