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BARCELONA, Spain, July 28. ANOTHER swimmer who is looking to make sure that a breakout meet at the 2012 London Games wasn't a fluke is Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky. The teenager who won the 800 free in London continues to get even better and could make a serious run at the world record in the women's 400-meter freestyle tonight at the FINA World Championships.
Ledecky, out under world-record pace at the 150-meter mark, finished her prelim swim with a 4:03.05. That pushed her to second in the world rankings this year behind only Camille Muffat's 4:02.64 from Rome earlier this year. Ledecky has been putting up strong times up and down the board this past year since the 2012 Olympics, and could walk away with several world titles when all is said and done this week.
Spain's Melanie Costa Schmid made sure she made finals in front of a partisan crowd with a 4:04.20 to win the final heat of the morning, much to the pleasure of a roaring group of Spaniards. That performance moved her from ninth to fourth in the world rankings as she overtook the mantel as the crowd favorite heading into finals with Mireia Belmonte Garcia just missing the top eight with a ninth-place 4:06.76.
Great Britain's Jazmin Carlin, who made some serious noise at British Nationals earlier this summer with some sensational distance freestyle swims, qualified third in 4:04.85. New Zealand's Lauren Boyle rounded out the top four with a time of 4:04.96, while Australia's Kylie Palmer touched fifth in 4:05.01.
Muffat, the world leader and favorite heading into this meet, cruised into finals with a sixth-place time of 4:05.53, while Hungary's Boglarka Kapas (4:05.61) and Venezuela's Andreina Pinto (4:06.02) also earned their way into the championship finale.
Results: FINA World Championships: Women's 400 Free Prelims
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