Federica Pellegrini’s Shocking Upset of Katie Ledecky Highlights Night Four in Budapest

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The fourth night of swimming from the 2017 FINA World Championships featured crazy finishes and upsets across the board. The big story of the night was Italian Federica Pellegrini upsetting Katie Ledecky in the 200 free final with an amazing last 50. Fellow Italian Gabriele Detti used a similar tactic in the 800 free final as he won the race thanks to an amazing last 100.

Chad Le Clos had a minor upset in the men’s 200 fly final as he held off Hungarian superstar Laszlo Cseh in the men’s 200 fly final. Adam Peaty missed his 50 breast world record but got under 26 seconds and won his second gold medal of the meet in the 50 breast.

The United States all-star mixed medley relay team of Matt GreversLilly KingCaeleb Dressel and Simone Manuel broke the world record in the mixed medley relay that was set earlier in the prelims.


Tonight’s events:

  • Women’s 200 Free
  • Men’s 100 Free (SF)
  • Women’s 50 Back (SF)
  • Men’s 200 Fly
  • Men’s 50 Breast
  • Women’s 200 Fly (SF)
  • Men’s 200 IM (SF)
  • Men’s 800 Free
  • Mixed Medley Relay

Women’s 200 Free

They say anything can happen on any given day. They say any person can be beat on any given day. Even if that means the unstoppable Katie Ledecky. On Wednesday night at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Ledecky was dealt her first loss in a major meet in the 200 free to Federica Pellegrini of Italy.

The Italian world record holder shocked the field after her stellar last 50 with a 28.82 on the last 50 to win the 200 final with a 1:54.73. Pellegrini has now medaled at seven straight World Championships in the 200 free dating all the way back to 2005. She adds to the gold medals she won in 2009 and 2011.

Pellegrini out swam Katie Ledecky and Emma McKeon who tied for second at 1:55.18. It is McKeon’s third medal of the meet.

Russia’s Veronika Popova (1:55.26), Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (1:55.96), USA’s Leah Smith (1:56.06), Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (1:56.35) and France’s Charlotte Bonnet (1:56.62) also swam in the A-final.

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Men’s 100 Free (SF)

The men’s 100 free semi-finals featured some young up-and-comers as well as some veterans into tomorrow’s final at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest. France’s Mehdy Metella had the fastest time of the semi-finals with a 47.65 just ahead of Americans Caeleb Dressel (47.66) and Nathan Adrian (47.85).

The Australian duo of Cameron McEvoy (47.95) and Jack Cartwright (47.97) will also have a good chance at the medals along with Britain’s Duncan Scott (48.10). Ukraine’s Sergii Shevtsov (48.30) and Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini (48.31) round out the top eight.

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Women’s 50 Back (SF)

The women’s 100 back world record was broken last night at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest and the 50 record was narrowly missed on Wednesday night at the pool. Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros swam a 27.18 to just miss the record of 27.06 held by Zhao Jing of China from 2009. The time for Medeiros is a South American record. Medeiros is just ahead of China’s Fu Yuanhui (27.19) into tomorrow’s final.

USA’s Kathleen Baker also broke an American Record with a 27.48 to beat Natalie Coughlin’s record of 27.51 from 2015. Great Britain’s Georgia Davies (27.49), Australia’s Emily Seebohm (27.51) and Holly Barratt (27.51), Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia (27.54) and China’s Wang Xueer (27.60) will also swim in tomorrow’s final where a world record could fall down.

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Men’s 200 Fly

People thought he was crazy for going out too fast. People thought he was done after failing to medal last summer in the 200 fly. People didn’t think he stood a chance against the Hungarians in their home crowd. But Chad Le Clos silenced all those doubters with a world title in the 200 butterfly on Wednesday in Budapest.

Le Clos went out fast in the final with a 53.2 and held on for the gold medal with a 1:53.33 to hold off Hungarian Laszlo Cseh (1:53.72) and Japanese Daiya Seto (1:54.21). Le Clos won his second world title in the 200 fly after he originally won in 2013.

Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi (1:54.73), USA’s Jack Conger (1:54.88), Japan’s Masato Sakai (1:55.04), Denmark’s Viktor Bromer (1:55.30) and Bulgaria’s Antani Ivanov (1:55.98) also swam in the final.

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Men’s 50 Breast

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty missed his world record from the semi-finals in the 50 breast but won another gold medal after he broke 26 seconds again. Peaty won the 50 breast on Wednesday night at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest with a 25.99. Peaty ran away with the title away from Brazil’s Joao Gomes (26.52) and South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh (26.60). The time for Gomes was a new South American Record.

Felipe Lima (26.78), Kevin Cordes (26.80), Fabio Scozzoli (26.91), Kirill Prigoda (27.01) and Ilya Shymanovich (27.27) also swam in the A-final.

Peaty repeats his World Title from 2015 and it is the third overall gold medal for Great Britain in the 50 breaststroke at the World Championships. Peaty joins himself and James Gibson (2003) as winners in the event for the Brits.

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Women’s 200 Fly (SF)

Germany’s Franziska Hentke leads the 200 fly semis into tomorrow’s final at the 2017 FINA World Championships with a 2:06.29. Hentke leads a tightly packed final ahead of China’s Zhou Yilin (2:06.63) and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (2:06.71).

Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa (2:07.01), China’s Zhang Yufei (2:07.11), Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (2:07.37), Liliana Szilagyi (2:07.67) and South Korea’s An Sehyeon (2:07.82) will also swim in the A-final tomorrow.

Asian swimmers have won the last three World titles in the women’s 200 fly with China’s Jiao Liuyang (2011), Liu Zige (2013) and Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi (2015) winning the last few titles.

USA’s Hali Flickinger (2:07.89, 9th) and Dakota Luther (2:09.55, 15th) did not make it out of semi-finals in the event.

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Men’s 200 IM (SF)

The United States has won seven straight world titles in the men’s 200 IM with Michael Phelps winning three and Ryan Lochte winning the last four. Chase Kalisz has a chance to extend that winning streak to eight on Thursday night at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest. Kalisz swam a 1:55.88 on Wednesday to lead the 200 IM semi-finals. Kalisz will get serious pressure in the final from Japan’s Kosuke Hagino who is the second seed at 1:56.04.

Great Britain’s Max Litchfield (1:56.70), Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches (1:56.86), Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:56.92), Germany’s Philip Heintz (1:57.27), China’s Wang Shun (1:57.39) and China’s Qin Haiyang (1:57.81) will swim in the final tomorrow. China’s Qin re-broke his World Junior record from the prelims that stood at 1:59.01.

Abrahm DeVine from the US finished 10th and will not swim in tomorrow night’s final as he swam a 1:58.01.

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Men’s 800 Free

The Italians are having a wonderful night in the Danube Arena in Budapest on the fourth night of swimming at the 2017 FINA World Championships. They started the night with Federica Pellegrini stunning Katie Ledecky in the 200 free final and ended the individual events by placing two men on the podium in the 800 free.

Gabriele Detti used a 1:55.68 on his last 200 to over swim Poland’s Wojciech Wojdak (7:41.73) and his Italian teammate Gregorio Paltrinieri (7:42.44). Wojdak and Paltrinieri had the lead at the 700 but Detti used a 28.33 penultimate 50 to draw even and eventually pull away to win his first individual world title. Detti won the title in a similar fashion to Pellegrini in the 200 earlier by sling-shotting by the leaders on the last 50 to snag the win.

The time for Detti is a new European record.

Norway’s Henrik Christiansen (7:44.21), China’s Sun Yang (7:48.87), Austria’s Felix Aubock (7:51.20), Germany’s Florian Wellbrock (7:52.27) and United States’ Zane Grothe (7:52.43) also swam in the final.

Sun was going for his fourth straight World title in the 800 as China had won the last four titles in the event with Zhang Lin winning in 2009 before Sun won threes straight. Sun did not have the endurance to hang with the medalists. This is Italy’s first gold medal in the 800 at the World Championships.

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Mixed Medley Relay

Team USA continued to dominate the mixed 400 medley relay, loading their relay with four Olympic gold medallists as their members.

Matt Grevers got the race up to a swift start with a 52.32 split, holding off Australia’s Mitch Larkin and China’s Xu Jiayu, before transitioning to recent breaststroke World Champion Lilly King. King (1:04.15) faced a field of mainly men as Adam Peaty moved Great Britain up into contention.

King touched the wall and it was all Caeleb Dressel. The sprint phenom chased down Australia, Canada, China, Great Britain, and Russia to deliver the lead to Simone Manuel with a sizzling 49.92 split. Manuel held the lead, unleashing a 52.17 split to power Team USA to a combined World Record time of 3:38.56.

The race for silver went to Australia (3:41.21) and there was a tie for bronze with Canada and China (3:41.25) touching simultaneously. The Aussies saw stellar splits from the ladies as Emma McKeon (56.51) and Bronte Campbell (52.30) finished them off. Canada also led off with a solid swim from Kylie Masse on backstroke as she went 58.22. Masse could not set a world record on the lead-off even if she went faster than her 58.10 from yesterday. The Canadians were also brought home by Penny Oleksiak (56.18) and Yuri Kisil (47.71).

Great Britain (3:41.56), Russia (3:43.02), Germany (3:46.03) and Italy (3:46.33) also competed in the A-final. Britain also had some swift splits from Adam Peaty (57.12) and James Guy (50.51) on breast and fly.

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  1. Michael Fleming

    Shocking is a bit of a stretch for the world record holder

    • avatar

      that was 8 years ago in the super suit era

  2. Ken Holland

    Losing once and a while is a VERY good thing. Congrats to Pellegrini today !

  3. Matteo Forni

    Please focus on the Goddess. Article is ok, but title is totally wrong. Tonight Federica is winner, is better, and Ledecky is the loser (the first with the other ones).
    Existing solely the distance and the winner tonight. Title have be solely for Federica.
    Keep honest please after 10ys of podiums 😉

  4. Laura M Wanco

    Why would you ever think it shocking.. work record holder and experienced 200 swimmer.

  5. Felicity Lacchin

    No one should ever have written off Pellegrini.

  6. Brian Mullies

    Katie is a distance swimmer. Frederica is a sprinter. The 200 is a sprint. No upset. Just different types of swimmers. Congrats to Ms Pellegrini.

  7. Krisztina Kiesewetter

    Why is it shocking that the world record holder won the race? Congrats to Ms. Pellegrini, it was beautifully done.

    • Maureen Fluehr Carll

      Her record was done in 2009,in the suit that is no longer legal,I believe this is her best effort since then.

    • Gian Alessandro

      Because she’s nearly a decade older than Ledecky.

    • Felicity Lacchin

      Still I would never have written her off.

  8. Pamela Galpin Meredith

    First, it was not Shocking…she barely touched out Ledecky. She is a sprinter and while she did win..it was Not a Shocker..

    • Gian Alessandro

      Her having a faster last 50 in a 200 doesn’t indicate being a sprinter.

    • Dave Hoover

      She’s not a sprinter but she’s certainly a 200 free specialist. Ledecky was simply not herself in the final. Her Semi-final swim, a mere 45mins after winning the 1500m in the 4th fastest time ever, was faster than Pellegrini’s final time. Ledecky will beat her 9 out of 10 times. Pellegrini got her’s today but I’ll be shocked if that ever happens again.

  9. Mark Dean

    Well done!!