Ledecky claims historic 12th gold as records tumble
Katie Ledecky made history by becoming the first woman to win 12 world championship gold medals as world records were sent tumbling four times
Budapest, Hungary - Katie Ledecky made history on Tuesday by becoming the first woman to win 12 world swimming championship gold medals, as world records were sent tumbling four times in the Budapest pool.
Britain's Adam Peaty twice lowered his own men's 50m breaststroke record, once in the morning's heats then again in the evening's semifinals.
Canadian Kylie Masse then broke the women's 100m backstroke record from 2009, when now-banned neoprene suits were used.
To complete the drama, Lilly King of the US took out the women's 100m breaststroke world record to take the gold.
"It was not really on my radar to swim below 26 seconds but I felt good tonight," said Peaty who swam 26.10 secs in the morning, then 25.95 in the semifinal.
Ledecky proved she is peerless in the women's 1,500m freestyle as she won the final by a massive 19.07 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Spain's Mireia Belmonte.
"Katie Ledecky is on another planet, so the goal of the race was to win the silver medal. For me, it is gold," quipped Belmonte.
Ledecky, 20, is now the most decorated woman in world swimming championships history as she passed compatriot
Missy Franklin, who has 11 titles.
But despite her achievement, Ledecky said winning is not as easy as she makes it look.
"It's hard the other 364 days of the year, it's about putting the work in during practice, so that then I can step up," she said.
King, also 20, claimed the US
second gold of the night with a commanding display in the women's 100m breaststroke final. She clocked one minute 04.13 seconds in the final, beating Ruta Meilutyte's 2013 record, to add world gold to the Olympic title she won last year in Rio.
Masse, 21, then proved the current depth in women's backstroke with a devastating display.
The 21 year old clocked 58.10 seconds, breaking Gemma Spofforth's previous mark of 58.12sec from the 2009 worlds.
"I was making sure I was reading the right name and the right time I was lost for words immediately after, I'm still in shock," said a stunned Masse.
Kathleen Baker of the US took silver, at 0.48sec back, while Emily Seebohm of Australia brushed off a cold to claim bronze, just 0.49sec behind.
Earlier, Chinese superstar Sun Yang won the men's 200m freestyle gold to add to his Olympic title in the same event.
Sun touched the wall first in one minute 44.39 seconds to set a new Asian record.
"It was a great race, especially the last 50 metres were pretty good. It is one of the hardest races for me," said Sun, who punched the water in triumph after his victory.
It was Sun's second gold in Budapest after his victory in the 400m freestyle final on Sunday. Xu Jiayu claimed a second gold for the night for China by winning the men's 100m backstroke final.
The 21 year old Olympic silver medallist clocked 52.44 seconds with American duo Matt Grevers earning silver, at 0.04sec back, and Olympic champion Ryan Murphy taking bronze at 0.15.
US breaks mixed relay record
The US broke the mixed 4x100m medley world record on Wednesday. The US quartet of Ryan Murphy, Kevin Cordes, Kelsei Worrell and Mallory Comerford clocked 3mins 40.28secs in the heats to break the previous mixed medley relay record of 3:41.71 set by Great Britain two years ago in Kazan, Russia.
Katie Ledecky of the US competes in the women's 1,500m freestyle final during the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Tuesday