Katie Ledecky surpasses Michael Phelps mark for most individual gold medals at world championships | Katie Ledecky

Here’s why Katie Ledecky is one of the greatest freestyle swimmers in the history of the sport. She is never really satisfied.

The 26-year-old American won the 800m freestyle on Saturday at the world aquatic championships to become the first swimmer to win six gold medals in the same event at the world championships. It was also his 16th individual world title, breaking a tie with the legendary Michael Phelps for the most world championship gold medals.

She is also a seven-time Olympic gold medalist and record holder in the 800m and 1500m.

But that winning time – 8 minutes, 08.87 seconds, which is the seventh fastest she has even swum – wasn’t quite enough in her favorite event.

“I’m always trying to find new ways to improve myself. I mean I already have everything spinning in my head right now. I kind of wanted to be better than I was tonight,” she said, twirling her right hand near her right ear, trying to spark ideas.

“I’m pretty hard on myself,” she said. “But I think I’ve found the balance between being tough on myself but also having that grace.”

The 800 was Ledecky’s second individual gold after winning the 1,500 freestyle on Tuesday. She also won silver in the 400 freestyle. Li Bingjie of China took the silver in 8:13.31 and Ariarne Titmus of Australia the bronze in 8:13.59.

“It’s fun to leave a meetup with your favorite event, and I just wanted to leave it all in the pool,” Ledecky said.

It was only the fourth gold medal for the United States on the seventh of eight rounds in the pool. Meanwhile, Australia has racked up 13 gold medals, equaling its best in the world. Australia also won three more gold medals on Saturday.

The Americans lead the overall standings with 31 medals (16 silver), Australia with 20 and China with 13.

Kaylee McKeown of Australia made history with gold in the women’s 200 backstroke. McKeown’s victory earned him a sweep of all three backstroke events following earlier victories in the 50 and 100m. She became the first swimmer to sweep all three backstrokes at the world championships.

All of this made up for the disqualification earlier in the 200 IM competition.

“You can’t change the rules,” she said. “I was kicked out. It was just the cards that were dealt to me and I couldn’t do much more than that. So I had to behave as best I could and channel all my anger and turn a huge negative in positive.

Regan Smith of the US, took the silver in 2:04.94 while Peng Xuwei of China took the bronze in 2:06.74.

Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden continued her dominance with gold in the women’s 50-metre butterfly. The 29-year-old won in 24.77 and has now won the event five times in a row at the world championships. The victory brought Sjoestroem’s individual medal tally at the world championships to 20, equaling Phelps’ mark.

Sjoestroem also broke his own record in the 50 freestyle clocking 23.61 in a semifinal. His previous record was 23.67 set in 2017.

“There aren’t too many secrets,” Sjoestroem told his longevity. “Just do the work every day, go practice and stay humble.”

Zhang Yufei of China, who won gold in the 100 butterfly, took silver in 25.05 while American Gretchen Walsh took bronze in 25.46.

Japanese fan favorite Rikako Ikee finished seventh (25.78) in the 50 fly but was warmly received by the home crowd.

Ikee, 23, won six gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games and was expected to be one of the favorites for the Tokyo Olympics. But she was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2019. Her comeback continues to resonate with both Japanese audiences and fellow competitors.

Cameron McEvoy of Australia led all the way to win gold in the men’s 50 freestyle clocking 21.06. It was his first individual gold medal at the world championships or the Olympics.

American Jack Alexy notched his second world championship silver clocking 21.57 to go along with his silver in the 100 freestyle. Benjamin Proud of Britian, last year’s world champion, took the bronze in 21.58.

Dressell won the event in Tokyo but did not qualify for Team USA, taking a short break from the sport. McEvoy’s time was faster than Dressell’s in Tokyo – 21.07.

Maxime Grousset of France won gold in the men’s 100 butterfly clocking 50.14. The 24-year-old took the lead and held on for the win. Josh Liendo of Canada took the silver in 50.34, while American Dare Rose took the podium with the bronze (50.46).

Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania equaled the world record 29.30 in her semifinal in the women’s 50 breaststroke.

Australia won the mixed 4×100 freestyle relay with a world record time of 3:18.83. The Americans won the silver medal in 3:20.82, while Great Britain took the bronze medal in 3:21.68. The relay is not an Olympic event.

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