U.S. men dominate at world championships
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.