Katie Ledecky earned her third win in as many nights at the U.S. Open, her first swim meet since the Tokyo Olympics and a cross-country move.
Ledecky took the 200m freestyle in 1:55.47 in Greensboro, N.C., against a field that lacked the world’s fastest women this year.
Ledecky was .26 off her fifth-place time from the Tokyo Games, which is impressive given swimmers train to peak for meets in the summer, not the fall. She won the 800m free on Wednesday and the 400m free on Thursday and still has the 1500m free on Saturday.
Ledecky is racing for the first time since moving from Stanford to the University of Florida to train with the U.S.’ top male distance swimmers.
Athletes at the U.S. Open are preparing for the world championships team trials in April, also in Greensboro.
World championships (in Olympic-size pools) are normally reserved for odd years, but the 2021 Worlds in Fukuoka, Japan, were postponed one year after the Tokyo Games were pushed back from 2020.
In other events Friday, Bobby Finke won the men’s 400m individual medley in trademark fashion — rallying from 1.18 seconds behind at 350 meters.
Finke, the surprise Olympic champion in the 800m and 1500m freestyles, clocked 4:17.39, the best autumn time of his career.
The men’s 400m IM has been moved from the last day of worlds to the first day next year, meaning it will no longer be in the same session as the 1500m free. That may make it more appealing to Finke, who ranks fourth in the U.S. this year in the event.
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