By Jim Rusnak//Director of Media Properties | Sunday, July 23, 2017
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Here are some interesting numbers about the U.S. Team competing at the 17th FINA World Championships, and a quick look at what you can expect in tonight’s finals:
11 – Number of consecutive World Championships in which the United States has topped the overall medal count, a streak that extends back to 1986.
441 – Number of total medals amassed by Team USA since the first FINA World Championships in 1973.
23 – Number of medals the U.S. won at the 2015 FINA World Championships, 7 more than runner-up Australia.
9 – Number of World Championship gold medals Katie Ledecky has won, second all-time among women behind Missy Franklin’s 11. Ledecky is tied with 9 other women for 13th, for the total number of medals (gold, silver and bronze) won at Worlds, and 6th among American women.
In Sunday morning’s prelims of the women’s 400m free, Ledecky moved a step closer to her 10th gold, breaking her own World Championships record in 3:59.06. She set the former mark of 3:59.13 in Kazan in 2015. Ledecky won gold in the 400m free at the last 2 World Championships, and holds 9 of the top 10 performances of all time in this event. Sunday’s swim ranks 7th all-time.
Ledecky is expected to swim in 4 individual events this week – the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m free.
Teammate Leah Smith, who is competing at her 2nd World Championships, qualified as the 2nd seed in tonight’s finals of the 400m free. Like Ledecky, Smith has a full schedule here in Budapest, expected to compete in 5 events – the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m free; and the 400m IM.
11 – Number of gold medals Ledecky could have when the night’s over, provided she swims in the finals of the 400m free relay and the American women strike gold. The team of Lia Neal, Kelsi Worrell, Olivia Smoliga and Mallory Comerford qualified 1st in this morning’s prelims. The last time the U.S. won gold in this event at a World Championships was in 2013. It finished with a bronze at the 2015 Worlds in Kazan. The official relay line-up for tonight will be released shortly before finals. Ledecky and Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel will likely be in the mix.
9 – Number of career medals for Nathan Adrian at the FINA World Championships, 5 of them gold. Only 4 American swimmers have posted a double-digit medal tally at Worlds – Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Aaron Peirsol and Matt Biondi.
Adrian stands poised to join that elite group tonight in the 400m free relay. Team USA – Blake Pieroni, Michael Chadwick, Zachary Apple and Townley Haas – qualified 3rd in this morning’s prelims in 3:12.90. The official line-up for tonight’s relay will be released just before finals. Look for Adrian to be a part of that group tonight, along with Caeleb Dressel. The last time the U.S. men won gold in this event at Worlds was 2009. Their last medal was a silver in 2013.
30 – Number of American swimmers competing in their 1st long course World Championships. That might sound like a lot of rookies, but 13 of them were members of last year’s 2016 Olympic Team, which means almost half of them cut their teeth on the international stage at the world’s largest sporting event.
Among those 30 competing at their 1st World Championships is Zane Grothe, the lone qualifier for the U.S. in tonight’s finals of the men’s 400m freestyle. He is seeded 8th in 3:46.14.
Grothe won this event at the Phillips 66 National Championships last month in Indianapolis. He will also be competing in the 800m free and 800m free relay later this week.
Teammate Clark Smith finished 12th in this morning’s prelims of the 400m free in 3:47.12.
The last time the U.S. won a medal at Worlds in this event was in 2013, when Olympian Connor Jaeger – now retired – won bronze. The last time an American won gold in this event at Worlds was Tim Shaw in 1975.
For distances less than 400 meters, the events will follow a prelim-semifinals-finals format. The top 16 swimmers from prelims will compete in the semifinals, and the top eight swimmers from the semifinals will compete in the finals on the following night.
American swimmers qualifying for Sunday night’s semifinals were: Kelsi Worrell in the 100m butterfly (2nd, 56.44); Sarah Gibson in the 100m butterfly (11th, 58.16); Madisyn Cox in the 200m IM (3rd, 2:10.16); Melanie Margalis in the 200m IM (9th, 2:11.47); Caeleb Dressel in the 50m butterfly (2nd, 22.97); Tim Phillips in the 50m butterfly (7th, 23.38); Cody Miller in the 100m breaststroke (2nd, 59.14); and Kevin Cordes in the 100m breaststroke (3rd, 59.15).
For more expert analysis and insight from the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, catch Deck Pass Live, right here on usaswimming.org. The show begins approximately one hour after finals. Also, follow our coverage from Hungary on Facebook and Twitter. #DeckPassLive.