Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

Katie Ledecky leads U.S. to 800 freestyle relay win; Pinellas County swimmer who swam in prelims gets gold, too

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Katie Ledecky won her third gold medal of the Olympics by anchoring the United States to a win in the women's 800-meter freestyle relay Wednesday night, and Michael Phelps set himself up for another gold medal to add to his record collection, qualifying No. 1 for the men's 200 individual medley.

The Americans were trailing Australia by 0.89 seconds when Ledecky took over from Maya DiRado for the anchor leg. They won by 1.84 seconds, in 7 minutes, 43.03 seconds, with Australia second. Canada was third.

Ledecky, who this week also won the 200 freestyle gold, swam her leg in 1 minute, 53.74 seconds. No other swimmer in the eight-team field broke 1:54.

Also swimming the final for the United States were Allison Schmitt and Leah Smith.

Clearwater's Melanie Margalis was part of the group that got the United States into the final, swimming the relay in the afternoon heats, and she'll get a gold medal for that effort. Missy Franklin also swam in the preliminaries and will get a medal, her first of the Games.

In the 200 IM semifinals, Phelps, swimming next to teammate and longtime rival and friend Ryan Lochte, put up an effortless-looking time of 1 minute, 55.78 seconds to claim the prime middle lane in tonight's final. Lochte, a former Gator, will be right next to him again, ranking second in 1:56.28.

Phelps goes for his fourth straight 200 IM title at the Olympics and 22nd gold medal.

In the men's 100 freestyle, 18-year old Kyle Chalmers of Australia dethroned defending champion Nathan Adrian of the United States in the final. In a furious down-and-back sprint, Chalmers rallied on the return lap to win with a time of 47.58 seconds. Pieter Timmers of Belgium claimed the silver in 47.80, while Adrian made it onto the medal podium — albeit with a bronze this time — in 47.85.

The Gators' Caeleb Dressel finished sixth in 48.02 for the United States.

Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Balandin pulled off a stunning upset in the men's 200 breaststroke, winning from the eighth lane to put his central Asian country on the swimming medal stand for the first time. Josh Prenot of the United States rallied to claim silver in 2:07.53, while Russia's Anton Chupkov landed the bronze in 2:07.70.

Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia won the women's 200 butterfly for her first Olympic gold. Australia's Madeline Groves took silver, and Japan's Natsumi Hoshi claimed the bronze.

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