Katie Ledecky wins 400 freestyle title at world swimming championships

Gold medalist Katie Ledecky stands on the podium for the medal ceremony for the women's 400-meter freestyle final at the 2022 FINA World Championships.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Katie Ledecky has started the United States’ medal collection at the world swimming championships with a gold by reclaiming her title in the women’s 400 meters on Saturday.

Ledecky clocked 3 minutes, 58.15 seconds – nearly two seconds off the world record – on the first day of racing for her fourth world title in the 400 freestyle after 2013, 2015 and 2017.

Ariarne Titmus pipped Ledecky to the title in 2019 and took her world record last month but the Australian has skipped the worlds in Budapest to focus on the Commonwealth Games next month in England.

Canada’s 15-year-old Summer McIntosh finished 1.24 seconds behind Ledecky for the silver. Both were well ahead of the competition, with American Leah Smith 3.93 behind Ledecky in third and Australia’s Lani Pallister finishing fourth.

Katie Ledecky competes in the women's 400-meter freestyle finals during the 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The American relay team of Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held, Justin Ress and Brooks Curry won the men’s 4×100 freestyle final, clocking 3:09.34 to finish ahead of the Australians in second and Italians in third.

The Australian women responded by winning their 4×100 freestyle final, 1.20 ahead of the Canadians and 1.63 ahead of the Americans. Mollie O’Callaghan, Madison Wilson, Meg Harris and Shayna Jack were all quickest and clocked 3:30.95.

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