Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2013 Contents A63
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Katie Ledecky smashed the world
record in the 1,500 freestyle for her
second gold medal at the world
swimming championships yesterday.
Looking stronger at the end of the
grueling race than she did at the begin-
ning, the 16-year-old obliterated the
world record in the 1,500-metre
freestyle by more than six seconds last
night for her second gold medal at the
world swimming championships.
"She s absolutely fit," marvelled
Mereia Belmonte of Spain, who fin-
ished far back in fourth. "Impressive.
She s probably made in the same fac-
tory as Michael Phelps."
Fellow American Missy Franklin
picked up her second gold medal, as
Cruising through a demanding dou-
ble, the 18-year-old star of the London
Olympics easily won the 100 back-
stroke, then returned about an hour
later to post the second-fastest time
in the semifinals of the 200 free.
"It s tough but it s fun," Franklin
said. "I m super happy with my 100
back. It really got me pumped up for
the 200 free."
It was a good night for the Amer-
icans after they failed to win gold the
Matt Grevers and David Plummer
went 1-2 in the 100 backstroke for the
third US victory of the session. Conor
Dwyer picked up a silver behind
France s Yannick Agnel in the 200 free,
and Jessica Hardy chipped in with a
bronze in the 100 breaststroke won
by Lithuania s Ruta Meilutyte.
The only disappointment for the
US was Ryan Lochte, who laboured
to a fourth-place finish in the 200
"It wasn t my night," the three-time
Olympian said. "But I have to put it
behind me because I still have many
races to swim."
He hopes to compete in seven events
in Barcelona, despite not being able
to train as much as usual this year
while taking part in his reality televi-
sion show, "What Would Ryan Lochte
No such concerns for Ledecky, who
is clearly in top form. She went stroke
for stroke much of the race with
defending world champion Lotte Friis,
the Danish swimmer slightly ahead
and both well under the world-record
pace set by Kate Ziegler in 2007.
Ledecky edged out front at the 1,300
mark and began to pull away, touching
in 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds. A woman
ran through the crowd with a blue flag
that proclaimed "World Record"---
Ziegler s mark of 15:42.54 never stand-
ing a chance.
Friis also went under the old record,
15:38.88, but it was only good enough
for silver. New Zealand s Lauren Boyle
took the bronze.
"Around the last 200, I knew I could
take off," Ledecky said.
The 1,500 is a non-Olympic event---
the longest women s race at the Sum-
mer Games is the 800---but that made
the achievement no less impressive.
Ledecky looks even stronger than
she did last year while winning
Olympic gold in the 800 free, a stun-
ning breakthrough for someone barely
known on the international stage.
"It was really tough, my hardest
race ever," Ledecky said. "I knew we
were going pretty fast and I figured
that whoever was going to come out
on top was probably going to get the
world record. So I just had to be careful
not to push it too early or push it too
late and just touch the wall first."
Franklin breezed to victory in the
100 back in 58.42 seconds. After cap-
turing four golds and a bronze at the
London Olympics, the recent high
school graduate is trying to join Phelps
as the only swimmers to win eight
events at a major championship. She
is now two for two at the Palau Sant
Jordi, adding to her gold in the 4x100
Australia s Emily Seebohm was next
in 59.06, with the bronze medal going
to Japan s Aya Terakawa in 59.23.
After the medal ceremony, Franklin
hustled off to get ready for the 200
free semifinals. She only just qualified
for the final of that event in London,
and was edged out for a bronze medal
by one-hundredth of a second.
Franklin has spent much of the past
year working to improve her freestyle,
and the results showed in the semis.
Franklin easily qualified for the final
with the second-fastest time, 1:56.05,
trailing only world-record holder Fed-
erica Pellegrini of Italy.
"Hopefully I will keep the momen-
tum going," Franklin said. "Hopefully
Team USA will, too. We ve had an
absolutely incredible evening, and I m
so proud of all my teammates."
Agnel blew away the field---Lochte
included---in the men s 200 free.
The big Frenchman pushed the pace
right from the start and never let up.
He touched in 1:44.20, a full body
length ahead of the field, setting off
another wild celebration from the large
French contingent in the crowd.
The Americans did pick up a medal,
but not necessarily from the swimmer
they expected. Dwyer, a friend and
former training partner of Phelps, took
the silver in 1:45.32. Danila Izotov of
Russia claimed bronze in 1:45.59.
Lochte missed a spot on the podium
Agnel is a training partner of
Dwyer s, having moved recently to the
North Baltimore Aquatic Club to work
with Phelps longtime coach, Bob
"I am so surprised," said Agnel, the
reigning Olympic champion. "I did
not expect such a result."
Meilutyte just missed the world
record she set the previous night in
the semifinals of the 100 breast, win-
ning in 1:04.42. Russia s Yuliya Efi-
mova was next in 1:05.02, while
Hardy---the former world-record hold-
er---pulled out a bronze in 1:05.52.
"Maybe the excitement and wanting
to win altered my stroke," Meilutyte
said. "I was dying toward the end of
it. There s still things to improve,
which is great."
of the US swims
to the gold
medal in the
final at the
Ledecky set a
Ledecky crushes WR
in 1500 free at world
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