By Sharon Robb
August 5, 2015—Teenage phenom Katy Ledecky did it again Wednesday at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena.
In the women’s 200-meter freestyle, Ledecky, 18, swimming in Lane 7, poured it on in the final 50 meters to win her third gold medal of the world championships. She has now won the 200, 400 and 1500 freestyles.
Ledecky won in 1:55.16 against a star-studded field that included world record holder Federica Pellegrini of Italy, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands and U.S. teammate Missy Franklin.
“I just got in there and raced, it feels really good,” Ledecky said. “I felt a lot more recovered than I did yesterday. I was able to go out with the field and was with the lead pack at the 100 so I knew I could bring it home.”
Heemskerk was the early leader after 150 meters but Ledecky found another gear to overtake the Dutch star to get her hand on the wall first and break into a big smile and look of disbelief.
Ledecky moved from third, fourth and second before winning. Her splits were 27.16, 29.11, 29.56 and 29.33.
Pellegrini took the silver in 1:55.32 and Franklin took the bronze in 1:55.49. Hosszu finished fifth in 1:56.19. Heemskerk faded to eighth in 1:56.79.
Ledecky has the 800 freestyle remaining with preliminary heats on Friday and finals on Saturday.
“I really didn’t know that nobody has ever won all four until a month ago,” Ledecky said. “I wanted to do well in all of them before. But that gives me a little more motivation and yeah, that would be really special.”
In the 200-meter butterfly, Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto of Gator Swim Club was 21st in 2:11.14 and
failed to advance into the semifinals.
Colombia’s Carolina Colorado of South Florida Aquatic Club was 35th in the 50-meter backstroke in
29.61. Bahamian Ariel Weech of Trinity Prep was 40th in 30.77.
Thursday’s women’s events are 100-meter freestyle heats and semifinals; 200-meter breaststroke heats and semifinals; 200-meter butterfly final; 50-meter backstroke final; and 4×200-meter freestyle relay heats and final.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org