Katie Ledecky expects to add 100m freestyle to Olympic trials lineup

Katie Ledecky
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NEW YORK — Katie Ledecky expects to add the 100m freestyle to her already heavy Olympic trials lineup in Omaha, Neb., from June 26 through July 3.

Ledecky, the World champion in the 200m, 400m, 800m and (non-Olympic event) 1500m freestyles, may swim the 400m individual medley at trials, too.

One U.S. woman has swum the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyles at one Olympics — Shirley Babashoff in 1976.

Swimming those four events at the trials is also rare. Ledecky spoke about her possible Olympic trials slate while at Rockefeller Plaza for an appearance on TODAY on Thursday, following her historic World Championships sweep earlier this month.

I still have to figure out my schedule with [coach] Bruce [Gemmell],” the Bethesda, Md., native told OlympicTalk. “It’s a nice option to have. I’ll probably swim the 100 [freestyle] for sure. We’ll see how that goes. The 400m IM is on the first day. I don’t have any other races that day, so it’s something that I might do to have one event out of the way and just to have a race under my belt. The next day I can really focus in on the 400m free. We’ll see.”

Ledecky is a heavy favorite to finish in the top two in the 200m, 400m and 800m frees at the trials to make the Olympic team (and the 4x200m free relay for her fourth Olympic event).

She would have a better chance in the 100m free than the 400m IM to make the Olympic team in a fifth event, given USA Swimming could take the top six 100m free swimmers to Rio for the 4x100m free relay versus the top two for the 400m IM and all individual events.

Ledecky’s personal best in the 100m free — 54.55 clocked on Jan. 15 — ranks her No. 42 in the world this year and No. 9 among Americans. That 54.55 came at a time of the year when swimmers aren’t peaked, and even though Ledecky swam slower 100m frees in April and June, there’s reason to believe she can be faster with a little more sprint training.

Adding the 400m IM isn’t a huge stretch – once or twice per week her practices are individual medley-based, to break up the monotony and work on each muscle group. It’s something that U.S. national team director Frank Busch has his eye on.

Ledecky’s personal best in the 400m IM is 4:41.70, which ranks No. 32 in the world this year and No. 9 among Americans. She rarely races it.

“I’d like to see her swim the 400m IM or the 200m butterfly because she’d probably do pretty good,” Busch told The New York Times.

VIDEO: Ledecky, at 16 months old, makes her first TODAY show appearance

Gemmell has already said the next piece of the race puzzle to improve is the turns.

“I still have a lot to work on for my turns,” Ledecky said. “Those are important things during short races. That would be helpful. And they add up a lot in the longer races. If I improve those, that could be really big.”

But Ledecky, whose dominance is greater at longer distances, shrugged off any mention of the open-water 10km event – a race that doesn’t have any wall turns.

“Oh no, I’m not really interested right now in going into open water,” she said. “One of my teammates, [2012 Olympian] Andrew Gemmell does open water. I really respect those swimmers. [It’s a] pretty long race.”

RELATED: How Katie Ledecky can be an underdog at the Rio Olympics

The Stanford commit will be very busy at the Olympic trials, whether or not she adds the 100m free or 400m IM.

If Ledecky chooses not to swim the 100m free at trials, she gains a rest day between the 800m preliminary heats and the 800m final.

Not that she particularly needs the break. Ledecky is the reigning Olympic champion in the 800m free, her only event in 2012 as a 15-year-old, and is 16.74 seconds faster than the No. 2 American this year.

Here’s a sample Ledecky Olympic trials schedule:

Day 1 Morning: 400m IM prelim
Day 1 Evening: 400m IM final

Day 2 Morning: 400m free prelim
Day 2 Evening: 400m free final

Day 3 Morning: 200m free prelim
Day 3 Evening: 200m free semifinal

Day 4 Morning: Off
Day 4 Evening: 200m free final

Day 5 Morning: 100m free prelim
Day 5 Evening: 100m free semifinal

Day 6 Morning: 800m free prelim
Day 6 Evening: 100m free final

Day 7 Morning: Off
Day 7 Evening: 800m free final

Day 8 Morning: Off
Day 8 Evening: Off

*Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated no U.S. woman has swum the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyles at one Olympics.

Jack Crawford of Canada stuns super-G favorites at Alpine skiing worlds

Jack Crawford
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Canadian Jack Crawford was the upset winner of the world Alpine skiing championships men’s super-G by the closest possible margin — one hundredth of a second — in Courchevel, France.

Crawford earned his first career top-level victory, edging Norwegian co-favorite Aleksander Aamodt Kilde on Thursday.

“It has a ring to it,” the new world champion told Austrian broadcaster ORF. “I definitely wasn’t expecting anything today. I didn’t even bring my hat for an interview.”

France’s Alexis Pinturault took bronze, relegating the other pre-race favorite, Swiss Marco Odermatt, to fourth place.

River Radamus was the top American in 16th, two spots ahead of countryman and Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochran-Siegle.

ALPINE WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Crawford, 25, won on the eve of the first anniversary of his first top-level podium, a combined bronze at the Olympics. Since, he earned his first three World Cup podiums, but no wins and a best super-G finish this season of sixth.

He became the latest Canadian to take a surprise world title after, most recently, Erik Guay in the super-G in 2017, plus his coach, John Kucera, in the downhill in 2009.

Kilde and Odermatt combined to win all six World Cup super-Gs this season going into worlds.

Kilde earned his first world championships medal on Thursday after Olympic silver and bronze last year.

Odermatt, the Olympic giant slalom champion and World Cup overall champion, is still seeking his first world championships medal.

Pinturault continued his strong worlds after winning the combined on Tuesday at his home resort. He also took super-G bronze at the last worlds in 2021.

The 31-year-old, who reportedly had retirement cross his mind after his first winless World Cup season in 11 years, now has seven individual world medals, one more than the French legend Jean-Claude Killy.

Worlds continue Saturday with the women’s downhill without Mikaela Shiffrin. She often skips downhills on the World Cup and has never raced it at worlds.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships results

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Top 10 and notable results from the 2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships in Meribel and Courchevel, France …

Women’s Combined
Gold: Federica Brignone (ITA) — 1:57.47
Silver: Wendy Holdener (SUI) — +1.62
Bronze: Ricarda Haaser (AUT) — +2.26
4. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) — +2.48
5. Franziska Gritsch (AUT) — +2.71
6. Michelle Gisin (SUI) — +3.43
7. Laura Gauche (FRA) — +3.71
8. Emma Aicher (GER) — +3.78
9. Elena Curtoni (ITA) — +4.05
10. Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN) — +4.91
13. Bella Wright (USA) — +6.21
DSQ (slalom). Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
DNS (slalom). Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI)
DNS (slalom). Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)
DNS (slalom). Sofia Goggia (ITA)
DNF (super-G). Marta Bassino (ITA)
DNF (super-G). Breezy Johnson (USA)
DNF (super-G). Tricia Mangan (USA)

ALPINE WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

Men’s Combined
Gold: Alexis Pinturault (FRA) — 1:53.31
Silver: Marco Schwarz (AUT) — +.10
Bronze: Raphael Haaser (AUT) — +.44
4. River Radamus (USA) — +.69
5. Atle Lie McGrath (NOR) — +.72
6. Loic Meillard (SUI) — +1.20
7. Tobias Kastlunger (ITA) — +2.99
8. Albert Ortega (ESP) — +3.50
9. Erik Arvidsson (USA) — +4.43
10. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA) — +5.25
DNF (slalom). Johannes Strolz (AUT)
DNF (slalom). Luke Winters (USA)
DNS (slalom). Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)
DNS (slalom). James Crawford (CAN)
DSQ (super-G). Marco Odermatt (SUI)

Women’s Super-G
Gold: Marta Bassino (ITA) — 1:28.06
Silver: Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — +.11
Bronze: Cornelia Huetter (AUT) — +.33
Bronze: Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (NOR) — +.33
5. Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR) — +.36
6. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI) — +.37
7. Alice Robinson (NZL) — +.54
8. Federica Brignone (ITA) — +.55
9. Tessa Worley (FRA) — +.58
10. Michelle Gisin (SUI) — +.69
11. Sofia Goggia (ITA) — +.76
24. Breezy Johnson (USA) — +2.09
DNF. Tricia Mangan (USA)
DNF. Bella Wright (USA)

Men’s Super-G
Gold: Jack Crawford (CAN) — 1:07.22
Silver: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) — +.01

Bronze: Alexis Pinturault (FRA) — +.26
4. Marco Odermatt (SUI) — +.37
5. Raphael Haaser (AUT) — +.58
6. Marco Schwarz (AUT) — +.59
7. Adrian Smiseth Sejersted (NOR) — +.62
8. Loic Meillard (SUI) — +.65
9. Brodie Seger (CAN) — +.67
9. Andreas Sander (GER) — +.67
12. Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) — +.87
16. River Radamus (USA) — +1.30
17. Kyle Negomir (USA) — +1.48
18. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA) — +1.52

Women’s Downhill (Feb. 11)
Men’s Downhill (Feb. 12)
Team Parallel (Feb. 14)
Men’s Parallel (Feb. 15)
Women’s Parallel (Feb. 15)
Women’s Giant Slalom (Feb. 16)
Men’s Giant Slalom (Feb. 17)
Women’s Slalom (Feb. 18)
Men’s Slalom (Feb. 19)

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