Ledecky adds third freestyle gold to tally

Wed Aug 5, 2015 2:18pm EDT
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By Rod Gilmour

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Katie Ledecky’s bid to become the first swimmer to win four individual freestyle titles at a world championships remainedon track as the American claimed a stunning gold in the women’s 200 metres on Wednesday.

After qualifying for the final in seventh during a punishing schedule which meant Ledecky raced her semi-final 30 minutes after winning the 1,500m freestyle gold with a world record, the 18-year-old American touched first in one minute 55.16 seconds.

Ledecky’s win, achieved from lane seven, added to her golds in the 400m freestyle on the opening night and the 1,500.

With all eight swimmers in with a chance of a medal at the final turn, Federica Pellegrini of Italy denied a United States one-two by claiming silver in 1:55.32 seconds. World champion Missy Franklin took bronze in 1:55.49.

“"It was a lot easier than the 1500m, it just didn’t hurt as much and I knew I could put it all together,” said Ledecky who hopes to add the 800m title on Saturday.

Sun Yang of China dug deep, also from lane seven, to win his second gold, the men’s 800m freestyle, after a thrilling battle with Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri.

European champion Paltrinieri looked in control of the race until Sun powered into the lead after 750 metres and touched the wall in 7:39.96. The Italian was 0.85 seconds down, in a European-record time. Mack Horton of Australia took bronze.

Briton Adam Peaty continued his fine form by adding the men’s 50m breaststroke gold to his 100m breaststroke title, becoming the first swimmer to achieve the feat at a world championships.   Continued...

Katie Ledecky of the U.S. poses with her gold medal after the women's 200m freestyle final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 5, 2015.              REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke