Michael Andrew

Katie Ledecky completes 4-for-4 swim worlds with 5-peat

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BUDAPEST — Katie Ledecky won all four of her events at the world swimming championships, capping it with an unprecedented fifth consecutive title in her trademark event, the 800m freestyle.

She clocked 8 minutes, 8.04 seconds, prevailing by 10.73 seconds over Australian Kiah Melverton and nodding upon seeing her time. Ledecky now has the 28 fastest times in history in the event. This one was the fifth fastest and her best since 2018.

“I thought I was a little faster that, but that’s the fastest I’ve been in a while, so I’m really thrilled with that,” she said. “Really excited about the future as well.”

SWIMMING WORLDS: TV Schedule | Results | U.S. Roster

Ledecky became the first swimmer to win five consecutive world titles in an individual event. Her 19th career world gold medal broke her tie with Ryan Lochte for the second-most in history behind Michael Phelps (26).

Ledecky owns 22 career world championships medals of any color, trailing Lochte (27) and Phelps (33). She has 14 individual world titles, one shy of Phelps’ record.

Ten years ago, Ledecky won her first gold medal at age 15 at the London Olympics, in the 800m freestyle.

“I made it a goal to not be a one-hit wonder, and here we are,” Ledecky said, according to USA Swimming.

Earlier in the meet, Ledecky posted her fastest 4x200m free relay split ever, the fastest 400m free ever swum at a world championships and a 1500m free time that was 7.59 seconds faster than she went in the Tokyo Olympic final.

“Probably the most fun I’ve had a meet in a long time,” Ledecky said. “The results showed.”

In 2023, the anticipation will be for a showdown at the world championships with Australian rival Ariarne Titmus, who skipped these worlds to focus on the Commonwealth Games later this summer.

Titmus, after winning the Tokyo Olympic 200m and 400m frees, broke Ledecky’s world record in the 400m free at the Australian trials last month.

Earlier Friday, Americans Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White took silver and bronze in the 200m backstroke. Bacon, who attended the same elementary and high schools as Ledecky, was edged for gold by Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown of Australia by four hundredths.

Michael Andrew earned 50m free silver, .09 behind Brit Ben Proud. It’s Andrew’s first world medal in an individual Olympic event.

Hungarian Kristof Milak became the third man to sweep the 100m and 200m butterflies at one worlds, joining Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos.

Milak took the 100m fly in 50.14 seconds in the absence of Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel, who withdrew from the meet earlier this week on unspecified medical grounds. In Tokyo, Dressel won in a world record 49.45 seconds, and Milak was second in 49.68 to supplant Phelps as the second-fastest man in history.

“I’m not satisfied with the time as I swam exactly the same time as in the semis,” Milak said, according to FINA. “But I won the gold and that’s the most important now.”

Swede Sarah Sjostrom four-peated in the 50m butterfly for her 18th individual world medal, moving two shy of Phelps’ record. Sjostrom, 28, can win a 19th in the 50m free on Saturday.

Australia won the mixed-gender 4x100m freestyle relay, which is not on the Olympic program, in a world record. The U.S. earned bronze.

Worlds wrap up Sunday. With two medals, the U.S. will break the record for most medals by one nation at a single worlds.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post stated Ledecky had the 27 fastest 800m free times in history. She has the 28 fastest.

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Caeleb Dressel, Torri Huske, Alex Walsh win U.S. golds at swim worlds; 42-year-old medals

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BUDAPEST — Caeleb DresselTorri Huske and Alex Walsh gave the U.S. three gold medals from the four total events on the second night of the world swimming championships.

Dressel earned his second gold in as many events at these worlds, taking the 50m butterfly in 22.57 seconds, matching his second-best time, for his 15th career world title on Sunday. Dressel, who led off the victorious 4x100m freestyle relay Saturday, is expected to swim eight events over the eight-day meet.

“Feels good to get the first individual one out of the way. It’s always the most nerve-racking,” said Dressel, who won seven and then eight medals at the last two worlds. “It wasn’t perfect. None of my races are.

“I never come to these [meets] to count medals. It’s just about swimming fast. That’s all that’s on my mind.”

Brazilian Nicholas Santos, 42, earned silver to become the first swimmer in their 40s to win a world medal. American Michael Andrew took bronze, his first individual medal at an Olympics or worlds.

SWIMMING WORLDS: TV Schedule | Results | U.S. Roster

Huske, a 19-year-old rising Stanford sophomore, lowered her American record to win the 100m fly in 55.64 for her first individual Olympic or world medal. In Tokyo, Huske missed a medal by one hundredth of a second.

Canadian Maggie Mac Neil, who won the 2019 Worlds (55.83) and Tokyo Olympics (55.59), chose to race strictly relays at these worlds. Huske’s time Sunday would have tied for silver at the Olympics.

“I don’t really know how to put it into words because it’s kind of surreal,” Huske said. “I haven’t really processed it yet, but I’m just happy that I went a best time more than anything.”

Walsh took gold in the 200m individual medley, a year after winning Olympic silver in the event. Her time — 2:07.13 — would have won the Tokyo Olympic title by a massive 1.39 seconds. Yui Ohashi of Japan, who swept the individual medleys in Tokyo, didn’t qualify for Sunday’s final.

“I was totally calm before the final, I knew this was going to happen,” Walsh said. “After so many years of training, I knew what I was capable of.”

Australian Kaylee McKeown, who swept the backstrokes in Tokyo, withdrew from the 100m back on Sunday, reportedly to focus on the 200m IM. McKeown, fastest in the world in the 200m IM in 2021 despite not swimming it in Tokyo, touched 1.44 seconds behind Walsh on Sunday.

American Leah Hayes, a 16-year-old in her first major international meet, took bronze in a world junior record. Hayes, who has alopecia universalis and swims without a cap, lowered her personal best for the fourth time in her last five splashes. Between trials and worlds, she chopped 2.31 seconds off her PB.

“It’s surreal to be on the podium with my teammate and to get a world [junior] record when I wasn’t even expecting myself to win a medal at this world championships,” Hayes said.

American Nic Fink earned his first Olympic or world championships medal, a bronze in the 100m breaststroke at age 28. Italian Nicolo Martinenghi took gold in 58.26, topping Olympic silver medalist Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands by .26. Fink, who led at 50 meters, finished .39 back.

Brit Adam Peaty, who had won every Olympic and world title in the 100m breast since 2015, missed worlds due to a broken foot.

In semifinals, two-time reigning world champion and world record holder Lilly King squeaked into Monday’s 100m breast final in the eighth and last spot. King wouldn’t have made it if training partner Annie Lazor wasn’t disqualified for a leg kick that was not simultaneous. A FINA appeals jury will look at the protest of the DQ on Monday morning.

Monday’s other finals feature Katie Ledecky in the 1500m freestyle and Ryan MurphyRegan Smith and Claire Curzan in the 100m backstrokes.

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Michael Andrew wins 100m butterfly over Caeleb Dressel ahead of trials

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Michael Andrew made the U.S. Olympic team last summer in the freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley. Could he add a butterfly for the world championships this summer?

The versatile Andrew won the 100m fly over Olympic champion and world-record holder Caeleb Dressel at a Pro Series meet in Westmont, Illinois, on Friday. Andrew clocked 51.74 seconds, edging fellow 22-year-old rising star Shaine Casas by .03 and Dressel by .05.

PRO SWIM SERIES: Full Results

Andrew entered last summer’s Olympic Trials as the fastest American in the 100m fly for the year, but scratched the event as he focused on the overlapping 200m individual medley. In Tokyo, he finished fourth, fourth and fifth in three individual events, adding a gold with the medley relay.

Next month, Andrew will face more schedule decisions at the world championships trials, where the top two per individual Olympic event are again in line to make the team. The 100m fly is the same day as the 50m breaststroke and 50m backstroke, non-Olympic events that Andrew swam at the last worlds in 2019.

If USA Swimming selection procedures remain the same as in the past, Andrew could swim those non-Olympic 50m events at worlds without swimming them at trials, provided he makes the team in the 100m in the corresponding stroke.

Dressel should still be considered the massive 100m fly favorite at trials next month in Greensboro, N.C. He has a reputation for making massive time drops at major meets, so defeats on the Pro Series circuit aren’t too significant. Andrew appears the favorite for the second spot at trials, assuming he swims it this time.

In other events Friday, Claire Curzan, who made the Tokyo Olympic team in the 100m fly at age 16, won both the 100m fly and the 200m backstroke. Curzan flew the fastest in 56.89, beating Rio Olympian Kelsi Dahlia by .64.

The women’s 100m fly at world trials could include four of the five fastest Americans in history in the event, including American record holder Torri Huske, who isn’t in Westmont as she competes for Stanford.

Curzan lowered her personal best in the 200m back in prelims and finals, bringing it from 2:10.16 to 2:07.31 against a field lacking the top Americans. She now ranks fifth in the U.S. in the event since the start of 2021.

Katie Ledecky bypassed the 200m freestyle for the 400m individual medley and placed third in an event she doesn’t swim at major meets. Olympic bronze medalist Hali Flickinger prevailed in 4:36.46, distancing Leah Smith by 3.32 seconds. Ledecky touched in 4:40.28.

Ryan Murphy extended a near-three-year domestic win streak in the 200m backstroke, touching in 1:56.78, a comeback win over Casas (1:58.09).

The Pro Series meet finishes Saturday at 7 p.m. ET with finals streaming on USASwimming.org.

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