Team USA’s Elana Meyers, Lauryn Williams lead first day of women’s bobsled

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Team USA’s top women’s bobsled pairing will force the defending Olympic champions to have to rally tomorrow at Sanki Sliding Center.

On their second run, driver Elana Meyers and brakeman Lauryn Williams set a new start record (5.13 seconds) and went on to log a 57.63-second time that pushed their overall lead over Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse of Canada to .23 of a second.

Humphries and Meyers, the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked World Cup drivers respectively, were expected to settle the gold between them and it looks like that is what will happen in the final two runs tomorrow.

It’s a solid start for the USA-1 team, which had its sled take front-end damage in a training incident last week. The day before, Meyers was also involved in a crash.

The Americans’ second sled, with driver Jamie Greubel and brakeman Aja Evans, is in bronze medal position at .56 of a second behind Meyers and Williams in USA-1.

Fourth place belongs to Belgium-1 (Elfje Willemsen/Hanna Emilie Marien), but they sit almost half a second behind Greubel and Evans for a spot on the podium.

As for hurdler-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones, she and driver Jazmine Fenlator currently run 11th in the third sled for the U.S.

source: AP
USA-1 (Elana Meyers/Lauryn Williams) leads after the first day of women’s bobsled. Photo: AP

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Katie Ledecky easily wins 400m free to open swimming worlds

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Katie Ledecky took her first step toward a possible record-tying six gold medals at one world championships, easily winning the 400m freestyle in Budapest on Sunday.

Ledecky clocked 3:58.34, the second-fastest time ever, to win by 3.2 seconds over countrywoman Leah Smith. China’s Li Bingjie earned the bronze. Ledecky holds the nine fastest times ever.

Ledecky, the quadruple Rio Olympic champion, won her third straight world title in the 400m free and 10th world title overall. She later swims the 4x100m free relay on Sunday, then four more events later this week.

Missy Franklin holds the female record of six golds from one worlds in 2013. Michael Phelps won seven golds at the 2007 Worlds.

In other races Sunday, China’s Sun Yang won his third straight world 400m freestyle title, whooping Australian rival and Rio gold medalist Mack Horton by 2.47 seconds.

Sun, 25, bagged his eighth individual world title, trailing only Ryan Lochte (10) and Michael Phelps (15) on the all-time list.

In semifinals, Olympic champion and world-record holder Sarah Sjostrom was the top qualifier into Monday’s 100m butterfly final. While Sjostrom is the heavy favorite, U.S. Olympian Kelsi Worrell qualified third into the final as she seeks a first individual major international meet medal.

Caeleb Dressel broke the American record in the 50m butterfly semifinals, a non-Olympic event. Dressel took .15 off the old record by clocking 22.76 as the fastest qualifier into Monday’s final.

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Sun Yang wins third straight world 400m freestyle title

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Sun Yang cruised to win his third straight 400m freestyle world title in Budapest, clocking 3:41.38, pumping his fist and splashing water in his typical fashion.

The Chinese Sun, 25, beat Rio gold medalist Mack Horton by a whopping 2.47 seconds with the fastest time in the world since 2012.

Horton, who edged Sun by .13 at the Olympics, had choice words for Sun both last year and last week, having called the Chinese superstar a “drug cheat” for serving a three-month doping ban in 2014.

Italian Gabriele Detti took bronze, just as he did in Rio. The top American was Zane Grothe in seventh, the lowest result by the top American in this event since 1998.

Sun earned his eighth overall individual world title, moving ahead of Grant Hackett and Aaron Peirsol as solo third all time among men behind Michael Phelps (15) and Ryan Lochte (10).

Sun can build on that total in the 200m, 800m and 1500m frees later in the meet. He has won all of those events at past Olympics or worlds.

Men’s 400m Freestyle Results
Gold: Sun Yang (CHN) — 3:41.38
Silver: Mack Horton (AUS) — 3:43.85
Bronze: Gabriele Detti (ITA) — 3:43.93
4. Park Tae-Hwan (KOR) — 3:44.38
5. Felix Auboeck (AUT) — 3:45.21
6. James Guy (GBR) — 3:45.58
7. Zane Grothe (USA) — 3:45.86
8. David McKeon (AUS) — 3:46.27

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