U.S. men dom­i­nate at world cham­pi­onships

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

BU­DA­PEST, Hun­gary — On a night when Katie Ledecky re­turned to a more fa­mil­iar spot — the top rung of the medal podium — the U.S. men’s team be­gan pass­ing the torch to a new gen­er­a­tion at the world cham­pi­onships.

Chase Kal­isz ex­tended Amer­i­can dom­i­nance in the 200-me­ter in­di­vid­ual med­ley on Thurs­day with a bit of Olympic re­demp­tion, ably fill­ing the void left by Michael Phelps’ re­tire­ment and Ryan Lochte’s ab­sence in Bu­da­pest.

Caeleb Dres­sel, 20, put the United States back on top in swim­ming’s glam­our event, pulling away to a dom­i­nat­ing vic­tory in the 100 freestyle while Nathan Adrian gladly set­tled for the sil­ver.

Ledecky earned her fourth gold of the cham­pi­onships by an­chor­ing the U.S. vic­tory in the 800 free re­lay, tak­ing over with a slight lead be­fore pow­er­ing away to win by a full body length. She re­turned to form on a team that also in­cluded Leah Smith, Mal­lory Comer­ford and Me­lanie Mar­galis.

The U.S. was just 0.13 sec­onds ahead when Ledecky took over for Mar­galis. The Amer­i­cans fin­ished in 7 min­utes, 43.39 sec­onds with a com­fort­able 1.57 mar­gin over China. Aus­tralia took the bronze.

Also Thurs­day, Olympic cham­pion Mireia Bel­monte of Spain stayed on top in the women’s 200 but­ter­fly, fin­ish­ing strong to deny Katinka Hosszu an­other gold be­fore the home crowd. Hun­gary’s “Iron Lady” was lead­ing at the mid­way point, send­ing the packed house at Duna Arena into a frenzy, but Bel­monte blazed past her to win in 2:05.26.

Ger­many’s Franziska Hen­tke grabbed the sil­ver, leav­ing Hosszu to set­tle for bronze.

Also, Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros took gold in the women’s 50 back­stroke, which isn’t an Olympic event. The sil­ver went to China’s Fu Yuan­hui, while Ali­ak­san­dra Herasi­me­nia of Be­larus earned the bronze.

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