BUDAPEST – After Tuesday night, Katie Ledecky found herself atop a mountain all by herself.
With her win in the 1500m free, she had just won her 12th career World Championship gold medal, the most all-time for women. It was just two days before – with wins in the 400m free and 400m free relay on the first night of competition – that she had shared this honor with Olympic teammate Missy Franklin, but now she holds it all on her own, with several more races to come.
Tonight, she will be going for her fourth gold medal of the meet as the top seed in the women’s 200m freestyle.
On Tuesday, Ledecky completed a tough double, first winning gold in the 1500 by over 19 seconds over her next-closest competitor, then – after a quick warm-down and her medal ceremony – jumping back in the pool for semis of the 200. She is the defending Olympic and World Champion in this event.
After tonight’s race, she still has two left this week – the 800m free relay tomorrow and the 800m free on Saturday – for a total of six.
Joining Ledecky will be U.S. teammate Leah Smith, who has almost as busy a schedule. Smith won silver behind Ledecky in the 400m free on the first night of competition. She scratched from the women’s 1500m freestyle, but will also be competing in the 800m free, 800m free relay and the 400m IM later this week for a total of five events.
Men’s 200m Butterfly
Jack Conger is the Americans’ lone qualifier in the men’s 200m butterfly and is seeded fifth. Conger won Olympic gold last year in Rio, swimming in the prelims of the 800m free relay. He is swimming in his first long course World Championships.
The last American to win this event in a World Championships was the legendary Michael Phelps in 2011.
Men’s 50m Breaststroke
Kevin Cordes will be looking to add to his medal haul after winning silver in the 100m breast on the second night of competition. He won bronze and set the American record in the 50m breast at the 2015 World Championships, turning in a time of 26.76. Cordes was just a tenth of a second off that mark in Tuesday night’s semifinals, where he qualified fifth in 26.86. He is the lone American competing in tonight’s finals of this event.
Men’s 800m Free
Competing in his first long course World Championships, Zane Grothe qualified eighth for tonight’s finals of the 800m free. This will be his second final of the week after finishing seventh in the 400m on the first night of competition. He will also be competing in the 800m free relay on Friday.
While the U.S. has never won gold in this event at a World Championships, Olympian Connor Jaeger won bronze in 2015. He is one of only three Americans to medal in the 800m free at Worlds.
Mixed 400m Medley Relay
The United States – Ryan Muprhy, Kevin Cordes, Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford broke the world record of the mixed 400m medley relay in Wednesday morning’s prelims, turning in a time of 3:40.28. This year marks the just second time this relay has been swum at a long course World Championships. The first time, in 2015, the U.S. set the world record in prelims, only to have it beaten by Great Britain in finals. The mixed medley takes on new importance this year, as it has been added to the slate of Olympic events in 2020.
The top 16 swimmers in Wednesday morning’s prelims will be competing in tonight’s semifinals.
American swimmers advancing to Wednesday’s semifinals will be: Hannah Stevens in the women’s 50m back (7th, 27.89); Kathleen Baker in the women’s 50m back (9th, 27.94); Caeleb Dressel in the men’s 100m freestyle (3rd, 48.26); Nathan Adrian in the men’s 100m freestyle (5th, 48.46); Hali Flickinger in the women’s 200m fly (8th, 2:08.84); Dakota Luther in the women’s 200m butterfly (10th, 2:08.86); Chase Kalisz in the men’s 200m IM (2nd, 1:56.48); and Abrahm DeVine in the men’s 200m IM (12th, 1:59.65).
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.
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