Ledecky, King take gold at Bu­dapest

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

BU­DAPEST, Hun­gary — Katie Ledecky breezed to her third gold medal of the world cham­pi­onships, back­ing off a bit on her most gru­el­ing night of the meet.

It was left to Lilly King to take down the swim­ming record book and claim an­other im­pres­sive tri­umph over her Rus­sian ri­val.

Ledecky cap­tured the 1,500-me­ter freestyle by more than half the length of the pool on Tues­day, and re­turned just 49 min­utes later to post the fastest time in the semi­fi­nals of the 200 free.

While Ledecky sucked all the sus­pense out of her fi­nal — she was more than 19 sec­onds ahead of the run­ner-up — King made it 2-0 over Yu­lia Efi­mova in what has be­come one of swim­ming’s most com­pelling ri­val­ries.

The fin­ger-wag­ging Amer­i­can won gold at the Rio Olympics last sum­mer af­ter spurn­ing Efi­mova and brazenly pro­claim­ing the Rus­sian star had no busi­ness be­ing al­lowed to com­pete be­cause of dop­ing vi­o­la­tions.

Efi­mova nearly broke Ruta Meilu­tyte’s 4-year-old record in the semi­fi­nals, giv­ing her the prime lane in the mid­dle of the pool.

But King, rac­ing right be­side her, was the one who came through again when it re­ally counted. She got off to a blis­ter­ing start and led all the way, touch­ing in 1 minute, 4.13 sec­onds to shave 0.22 off the Lithua­nian’s mark from the 2013 worlds in Barcelona.

Amer­i­can team­mate Katie Meili edged out the Rus­sian for the sil­ver. King was es­pe­cially giddy that the U.S. went 1-2, with Efi­mova rel­e­gated to a bronze.

Ledecky cov­ered the met­ric mile in 15:31.82 — more than 6 sec­onds off her world- record pace from the world cham­pi­onships in Kazan, Rus­sia, two years ago.

“I couldn’t re­ally get my kick go­ing into it that much,” said Ledecky, who waited 19.07 sec­onds for sil­ver medal­ist Mireia Bel­monte of Spain to fin­ish, with the bronze go­ing to Italy’s Si­mona Quadarella. “I just kind of stayed steady there.”

In all, five world records have been set in Bu­dapest.

The Chi­nese team had a big night, as well.

Sun Yang cap­tured his sec­ond gold of the cham­pi­onships, adding the 200 free gold to his vic­tory in the 400 free. He fin­ished more than a half-sec­ond ahead of Amer­i­can Town­ley Haas, while the bronze went to Rus­sia’s Alek­sandr Kras­nykh.

Xu Ji­ayu touched first in the 100 back­stroke, beat­ing Amer­i­cans Matt Gre­vers and reign­ing Olympic cham­pion Ryan Mur­phy, who set­tled for sil­ver and bronze.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.