Ledecky reclaims 400 title at swimming worlds, eyeing more

Jun 17, 2022, 10:32 PM | Updated: Jun 18, 2022, 12:43 pm
Team Brazil competes during mixed duet technical of artistic swimming at the 19th FINA World Champi...

Team Brazil competes during mixed duet technical of artistic swimming at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi)

(AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi)

              Team Brazil competes during mixed duet technical of artistic swimming at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi)
            
              Leon Marchand of France holds a flag and poses with his medal after winning the men's 400m medley final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Katie Ledecky of United States, center, Summer Mcintosh of Canada, left, and Leah Smith of United States pose with their medals after the women's 400m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Tomoru Honda of Japan competes during the men's 400m medley final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Leon Marchand of France celebrates after finishing first during the men's 400m medley final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team Australia celebrate after winning the women's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Leon Marchand of France competes during the men's 400m medley final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States compete during the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States celebrate after winning the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States celebrate after winning the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States celebrate after winning the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Katie Ledecky of United States, center, Summer Mcintosh of Canada, left, and Leah Smith of United States pose with their medals after the women's 400m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Tomoru Honda of Japan competes during the men's 400m medley final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Leon Marchand of France celebrates after finishing first during the men's 400m medley final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team Australia celebrate after winning the women's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Leon Marchand of France competes during the men's 400m medley final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States compete during the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States celebrate after winning the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States celebrate after winning the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Members of team United States celebrate after winning the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Katie Ledecky of United States competes during the women's 400m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Katie Ledecky of United States reacts after finishing first in the women's 400m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Katie Ledecky of United States celebrates after finishing first in the women's 400m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Katie Ledecky, left, of United States celebrates after finishing first in the women's 400m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
            
              Katie Ledecky of United States celebrates after finishing first in the women's 400m freestyle final at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Katie Ledecky started the United States’ medal collection at the world swimming championships with a gold by reclaiming her title in the women’s 400 meters on Saturday.

The Americans finished the first day of racing with two gold, one silver and three bronze.

Ledecky clocked 3 minutes, 58.15 seconds — nearly two seconds off the world record — for her fourth world title in the 400 freestyle after 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Ariarne Titmus pipped Ledecky to the title in 2019 and took her world record last month but the Australian has skipped the worlds in Budapest to focus on the Commonwealth Games next month in England.

“It’s great to get the first gold medal for the U.S. team,” said Ledecky, who said she’s working on reclaiming her record, too. “I’m on the right track.”

Winning the 400 gave Ledecky her 16th gold at a worlds and 18th overall. She’s just one behind Natalie Coughlin for the most all-time medals by a female swimmer in world championships history.

Ledecky next turns attention to a potential fifth consecutive world title in the 1500 with heats on Sunday before the final on Monday.

Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh clocked under 4 minutes for silver behind Ledecky.

“I just wanted to have fun and race and push and hang on with the others,” McIntosh said.

Both were well ahead of the competition, with American Leah Smith 3.93 behind Ledecky in third and Australia’s Lani Pallister finishing fourth.

The American relay team of Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held, Justin Ress and Brooks Curry won the men’s 4×100 freestyle final, clocking 3:09.34 to finish ahead of the Australians in second and Italians in third.

The Australian women responded by winning their 4×100 freestyle final, 1.20 ahead of the Canadians and 1.63 ahead of the Americans.

Mollie O’Callaghan, Madison Wilson, Meg Harris and Shayna Jack were all quickest and clocked 3:30.95.

“Everyone did her job,” Wilson said.

Australia’s Elijah Winnington took the first gold of the evening when he powered home in the final length of the men’s 400 meters to overtake Germany’s Lukas Martens. Winnington clocked 3 minutes, 41.22 seconds, a personal best and the third fastest time at a worlds.

“I try to keep up with the Australian guy but in the end he swam away,” said Martens, who finished 1.63 seconds behind.

Brazil’s Guilherme Costa was third.

None of the medalists from 2019 raced in the men’s 400. Sun Yang of China is banned for a doping infringement, Australia’s Mack Horton – the 2016 Olympic champion – failed to qualify by 0.10 seconds, and Gabriele Detti did not enter.

Léon Marchand won gold for France with a dominant display in the men’s 400 medley. The 20-year-old Marchand clocked 4:04.28 for a European record and the second fastest ever after Michael Phelps’ record of 4:03.84 from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Americans Carson Foster and Chase Kalisz claimed silver and bronze.

“I really thought I was done and I can’t be upset with this bronze,” said Kalisz, who took gold when Budapest previously hosted the worlds in 2017.

Britain’s Benjamin Proud was 0.03 seconds faster than Dressel and Italy’s Thomas Ceccon in the semifinals of the men’s 50 butterfly. The final is on Sunday.

American Torri Huske was quickest in the women’s 100 butterfly semifinals, and Alex Walsh led an American 1-2 with Leah Hayes ahead of Australia’s Kaylee McKeown and Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey in the semifinals of the women’s 200 medley.

There were huge cheers for any Hungarian swimmers from spectators at Duna Arena. FINA, the sport’s governing body, appealed for fans to clap rather than cheer as a precaution against coronavirus infections. There were no other requests or restrictions.

Budapest stepped in to host the event after it was twice postponed from its original dates in Fukuoka, Japan due to a clash with the Tokyo Olympics last year, then due to the pandemic this year.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, drives to the basket toward Portland Trail Bl...
Associated Press

Bucks beat Trail Blazers 127-108 for 8th straight win

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Brook Lopez scored 27 points and the Milwaukee Bucks stretched their winning streak to eight games with a 127-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Bucks led the whole way, pushing their advantage to 26 in the second […]
1 day ago
Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) passes the ball past Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jal...
Associated Press

Thompson scores 42 points with 12 3s, Warriors beat Thunder

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With star teammate Stephen Curry sidelined, Klay Thompson kept shooting and took care of the offensive load the Golden State Warriors were missing without their reigning NBA Finals MVP. Thompson scored 42 points with a season-high 12 3-pointers, Jordan Poole added 21 points and career-best 12 assists starting in Curry’s place, […]
1 day ago
Donna Kelce greets her sons, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, left, and Kansas City Chiefs t...
Associated Press

Donna Kelce brings cookies for sons at Super Bowl opener

PHOENIX (AP) — Donna Kelce brought cookies to Super Bowl opening night. The mother of All-Pros Travis and Jason Kelce surprised her sons during an interview with NFL Network’s Michael Irvin with two batches of cookies — one for each. “It’s just been amazing that they’ve both been able to get to this point in […]
1 day ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman J.J. Moser (90) and Minnesota Wild center Sam Steel collide in the secon...
Associated Press

Chrychrun scores twice as Coyotes beat Wild 3-2

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jakob Chychrun had two goals, Jack McBain scored the tie-breaking goal on a breakaway with seven minutes remaining and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Monday night. McBain put a back-hander past Marc-Andre Fleury moments after the Coyotes killed off an abbreviated 55-second power play. Karel Vejmelka had […]
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks Josh Green (8) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, left, defe...
Associated Press

Green, Hardy help Mavs surprise Jazz 124-111 without Doncic

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kyrie Irving hadn’t arrived yet and Luka Doncic was out, so it was time for the Dallas youngsters to shine. Josh Green and Jaden Hardy each scored career highs of 29 points and the short-handed Mavericks stunned the Utah Jazz 124-111 on Monday night after completing a trade for Irving. […]
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, right, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hu...
Associated Press

Mahomes, Hurts aware of significance of this Super Bowl duel

PHOENIX (AP) — Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is thrilled young aspiring football players all over the world will get to watch two Black quarterbacks face each other for the first time in the Super Bowl. He’s also pleased they get to watch two really, really good quarterbacks. “I’m really excited for both quarterbacks, what […]
1 day ago
Ledecky reclaims 400 title at swimming worlds, eyeing more