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Ledecky dominates in 200m free at US world championship trials


WASHINGTON: US freestyle great Katie Ledecky punched her ticket to a second individual event at the 2022 World Championships with a dominant 200m freestyle victory at the US trials on Wednesday (Apr 27).

Ledecky, the 200m free gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, clocked 1:55.15 to beat 15-year-old Claire Weinstein (1:57.08) by almost two seconds.

Ledecky’s time made her the second-fastest in the world this year behind Australian Ariarne Titmus, who is not expected to compete at the World Championship in Budapest Jun 18 to Jul 3.

As in her impressive 800m free victory on Tuesday, Ledecky swam faster than she did in the Tokyo Olympic final last year.

Kieran Smith, who won 400m free bronze in Tokyo last year, won the men’s 200m free in 1:45.25, just one of the 2022 world-leading times produced on Wednesday on the second day of the trials in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Drew Kibler was second in 1:45.32, second-fastest in the world this year, coming up just short in his late challenge to Smith.

Ryan Murphy won the men’s 200m backstroke in a world-leading 1:55.01, surging over the final 100m to overtake Shaine Casas, who finished second in 1:55.46.

Lilly King went out fast and held on to win the women’s 200m breaststroke in a world-leading 2:21.19, with collegiate star Kate Douglass finishing second in 2:21.43, booking her berth in Budapest in the second-quickest time this year.

Seven-time Olympic gold medallist Caeleb Dressel won the men’s 50m butterfly in 22.84sec, a US Open record that is second-fastest in the world this year behind Brazilian world record-holder Nicholas Santos’s 22.73.

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