World Championships: The Great Katie Ledecky Chasing a 19th Gold; Lani Palllister and Leah Smith in Podium Battle in 800m Freestyle

LEDECKY Katie USA 1500m Freestyle Women Final Swimming FINA 19th World Championships Budapest 2022 Budapest, Duna Arena 20/06/22 Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
LEDECKY TIME: Katie Ledecky chasing yet another slice of swimming history in Budapest. Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

World Championships: The Great Katie Ledecky Chasing a 19th Gold

Victory in tomorrow night’s 800m freestyle final will extend the Katie Ledecky World Championship winning tally to a staggering 19 gold medals  and 22 medals overall – re-affirming the US superstar as the greatest female swimmer of all time.

It would take “The Great Ledecky” past former US teammate Ryan Lochte (18 gold) with swimming’s all-time GOAT Michael Phelps on top of the world with 26 gold medals.

The 25- year-old Ledecky has already won three gold medals in Budapest – the 400 and 1500m freestyle and in the USA’s victorious 4x200m freestyle relay.

Ledecky started her world championship career with four gold in Budapest in 2013; five gold in Kazan in 2015; five gold and one silver in Budapest in 2017; one gold and two silver in Gwangju in 2019 and so far three gold in Budapest.

The 800m gold would also be will be a record fifth consecutive world title over the distance – a run which started in Shanghai in 2013 and followed in Kazan (2015), Budapest (2017) and Gwangju (2019) – continuing to build on a remarkable reign.

Ledecky led through the 200m in 1:59.42 and the 400m in 4:01.98 – a time that would have been fast enough for bronze in the individual 400m freestyle on the opening night of these championships – stopping the clock at 8:17.51 – with Australia’s Lani Pallister (8:24.66) –  second and qualifying second overall ahead of the winner of the first of the seeded heats, Ledecky’s team mate, 400m freestyle bronze medallist Leah Smith (8:25.19).

Smith was also a member of the gold medal winning 4x200m freestyle team with Ledecky

Other qualifiers are Bingiie Li (China) 8:27.19, Isabel Gose (Germany) 8:27.69, Eve Thomas (Nee Zealand) 8:27.82) the 2019 world champion in the 1500m, Simona Quadarella (Italy) 8:27.96) and Tokyo Olympic finalist Kiah Melverton (Australia) 8:30.68).

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