World Championships: Katie Ledecky On Cusp of History in 800 Freestyle; Going For The Quintet


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World Championships: Katie Ledecky On Cusp of History in 800 Freestyle; Going For Quintet

The final of the women’s 800-meter freestyle at the World Championships could produce history, as American Katie Ledecky is seeking her fifth consecutive global title in the event. No athlete in the history of the World Champs – male or female – has strung together five straight championships in any discipline. For Ledecky to not pull the feat would take a monumental upset.

Already the champion in Budapest in the 400 freestyle and 1500 freestyle, along with the 800 freestyle relay, Ledecky qualified as the top seed for the 800 free on Wednesday night. She’ll hit the Duna Arena pool on Friday night as the world-record holder and three-time Olympic champion in the 800 free.

Earlier in the World Championships, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu had the chance to become the first individual to win five world titles in a row, but the veteran finished off the podium in the 200 individual medley. Hosszu has also won four straight crowns in the 400 medley, but she is not expected to challenge for the gold medal in that event, which is scheduled for the last day of action.

After breaking through with an Olympic title in the 800 freestyle at the 2012 Games in London, Ledecky captured her first world title in 2013 in Barcelona. She followed with additional global triumphs in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Her last victory was, perhaps, the most impressive as she returned to the meet after scratching out of the 200 freestyle and 1500 freestyle due to illness. On sheer will, Ledecky fended off Italian Simona Quadarella for the win.

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