Olympic champion Katie Ledecky won her fifth consecutive 800m freestyle title at the Swimming World Championships in Budapest on Friday while home favorite Christoph Milak added to her 200m butterfly crown with a victory in the 100m butterfly.
Ledecky won in an emphatic style, finishing 10 seconds faster than Australia’s Kia Melverton to seal her 19th gold medal at this level, leaving Ryan Lochte behind. The American is now within seven of Michael Phelps’ all-time record.
Italian Simona Quadarella won bronze, equaling her performance at last year’s Tokyo Games.
“It’s just years after years of hard work. I think I went back to London and I made it a goal not to be a one-hit wonder, and we’re here after 10 years, ”Ledecky told reporters.
“I’m happy with (the time), I thought I’d be (8: 0) 6 or 7, but being 8.0 is ok, and I’m the fastest in a few years, so a really great weekend.”
Earlier, Olympic silver medalist Milak, who broke the 200-meter butterfly world record earlier in the week, left the field with a 25-meter walk and barely looked upset as he won in 50.14 seconds.
Japan’s Naoki Mizunuma finished second in 50.94 seconds, ahead of Canadian Joshua Leando Edwards.
Sweden’s Sarah Sojostrom was also among the big winners as she continued to dominate the women’s 50m butterfly to win the event for the fourth consecutive world title and the 18th individual medal overall.
The 28-year-old surpassed France’s Melanie Hannick and China’s Zhang Yufei to top the podium.
In the women’s 200m backstroke, there was a heartbreak for American Phoebe Bacon as she was piped for the title by Kelly McConnay despite being ahead in most races.
The Australian won by 0.04 seconds while Bacon compatriot Ryan White was almost two seconds slower in third place.
Jack Cartwright, Kyle Chalmers, Madison Wilson and Molly O’Callaghan set a new world record in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay, as well as dominating Australian team events.
The quartet won gold ahead of Canada and the United States in 3: 19.38, beating the previous mark set by the Americans by 0.02 seconds.
“He’s crazy … I think we’ll always have a hard time beating him,” Chalmers said.
Benjamin Proud won the men’s first gold of the championship with a victory in the men’s 50m freestyle, leaning on a strong finish to win in 21.32 seconds. Michael Andrew of the United States won the silver medal, while Maxim Grosset of France finished third.