Katie Ledecky Rallies for Gold in 800 Free at World Championships

GWANGJU, South Korea — Katie Ledecky won her first gold medal in her final event of an illness-plagued world swimming championships, rallying on the last lap to claim the 800-meter freestyle on Saturday.

Ledecky, an American, led the first seven laps before Simona Quadarella of Italy took over. Quadarella led the next seven laps before it all came down to the final 50 meters.

Ledecky turned on the jets and completed the last lap in 29.19 seconds to Quadarella’s 30.76.

Ledecky won in 8 minutes 13.58 seconds. Quadarella, who won the 1,500 free in Ledecky’s absence, took silver in 8:14.99.

Ariarne Titmus of Australia earned bronze in 8:15.70. Titmus stunned Ledecky to win the 400 free on the first night before Ledecky got sick and withdrew from the 200 free preliminaries and the 1,500 final.

Ledecky took silvers in the 400 free and the 4×200 free relay.

Caeleb Dressel, an American, won three gold medals in a span of about two hours Saturday night, duplicating his achievement from two years ago in Budapest, Hungary.

Dressel has six golds and seven medals over all with one night remaining in the meet. He tied Michael Phelps’s record of seven medals — all gold — at a single worlds in 2017.

Caeleb Dressel won the 100 butterfly and 50 free, then capped his exceptional night by leading off the victorious mixed 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Dressel joined Zach Apple, Mallory Comerford and Simone Manuel in setting a world record of 3 minutes 19.40 seconds.

That lowered the mark of 3:19.60 set at the 2017 worlds.

Dressel completed a 50-100 free sweep by winning the 50 in 21.04 seconds, bettering the championship record of 21.08 set by Brazil’s César Cielo at the 2009 worlds in Rome during the height of the rubber suit era.

Bruno Fratus of Brazil and Kristian Gkolomeev of Greece tied for silver in 21.45.

Coming back just 34 minutes later, Dressel won the 100 fly in 49.66 a night after breaking Phelps’s world record in the semifinals.

On trips to the podium, Dressel tied a bandanna belonging to a high school mentor who died onto the ribbon of his medal and stood with his right hand over his heart for the United States anthem.

Regan Smith, Dressel’s 17-year-old teammate, won the 200 backstroke in 2:03.69, the second-fastest time in history.

She set the world record of 2:03.55 in Friday’s semifinals and was on a pace to lower it again before fading on the last lap. Smith still finished a whopping 2.57 seconds ahead of Kaylee McKeown of Australia.

Kylie Masse of Canada took bronze.

Source: Read Full Article