Katie Ledecky has extended her record of medals from the World Championships to 21, two more than any other female swimmer before.
All except three of them are gold.
Ledecky, 25, won her 18th gold medal at the worlds on Wednesday as the United States won the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay final, clocking the fastest division, 1:53.67, to help the Americans win a championship record to 7. To: 41.45.
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Claire Weinstein, Leah Smith, Ledecky and Bella Sims finished 2.41 seconds ahead of the Australian team and 3.31 seconds ahead of the Canadians.
“That’s great,” Ledecky said. “It is so easy to get up to these relays and not just think and go. I had a lot of confidence in these three and I think we have always been numbered and we always do well so I am very proud of this group Is.”
Ledecky had already won gold medals in the 1500 freestyle on Monday and gold in the 400 freestyle on Saturday, joining the 15 gold medals in the competition in Budapest.
Her 21 medals at the Worlds are two more than compatriot Natalie Coughlin (seven gold, seven silver, five bronze) between 2001–13.
World swimming’s governing body FINA does not include the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay in Fukuoka, Japan on July 24, 2001, with Coughlin being held responsible for the gold as the American team was disqualified in that race. , which eventually went to gold. to Britain.
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Ledecky’s 18 golds is second only to Ryan Lochte’s record on the all-time list of most swimming titles in the world. Only Michael Phelps, with 26, has won more.
The US has now won the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay in eight of the last 10 world championships, with exceptions in 2009 (second only to China) and the final edition in 2019 (second only to Australia).
“I’m very proud,” Ledecky said of representing America in the relay. “I think I realized that it had been a while since we were on the medal podium that we were all singing the national anthem together, trying to hit those high pitches together. So that’s a lot. It was fun, and to see it all come together and the timing was really fast too, so I think we really proved that we came to the race.
Ledecky still has to run in Thursday’s 800m freestyle heat, with the final scheduled for Friday.
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