Swimming, Day 3 - World record for Ledecky on day of golden US treble
Sixteen-year-old Katie Ledecky smashed the 1500 metres freestyle world record on a great day for the USA which brought three world crowns for the Stars and Stripes team. Ledecky prevailed in a monumental duel with Denmark's defending champion Lotte Friis, while Missy Franklin and Matt Grevers grabbed the golds in their respective 100m backstroke finals. Fellow Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte, born just two days after Ledecky, came tantalisingly close to her own second world record in two days but still celebrated an historic first world title in the 50m pool for independent Lithuania in the 100m breaststroke.
Ledecky, who won the 400m freestyle on Day 1, and Friis fought neck and neck in the 30-length pool marathon, the American edging clear in the final 100 metres to win in 15:36.53. Friis, world silver medallist in 2009 and champion in 2011, touched in 15:38.88 and was also inside the 15:42.54 world mark set by Kate Ziegler in Mission Viejo, California, on June 17, 2007. Lauren Boyle (NZL), Barcelona 400m freestyle bronze medallist, came through strongly in the later stages to claim another bronze in 15:44.71.
Meilutyte finished a shade outside the world record 1:04.35 she clocked in the 100m breaststroke semi-finals, sweeping to the gold in 1:04.42, a time still inside the 1:04.45 world mark which had stood to Jessica Hardy (USA) since August 2009. Yuliya Efimova (RUS), world silver medallist in 2009, was the only swimmer to finish within a second of the Lithuanian, taking the silver in 1:05.02. Hardy, world silver medallist in 2005, scooped the bronze in 1:05.52.
On a great day for teenagers, Franklin, 18, captured her second gold medal of the championships, adding the 100m backstroke to her 4x100m freestyle relay gold. She won by a comfortable margin in 58.42, with Emily Seebohm (AUS) taking the silver (59.06) and Aya Terakawa (JPN) the bronze (59.23) in a repeat of the medal podium 1-2-3 of the 2012 Olympics. Franklin later qualified with the second-fastest time for the 200m freestyle final.
Olympic gold medallist Grevers claimed the third US title of the day in a one-two with American team-mate David Plummer in the men's 100m backstroke. Grevers won in 52.93, with Plummer snatching the silver in 53.12 and joint defending champion Jeremy Stravius (FRA) the bronzein 53.21. Camille Lacourt, who uniquely shared the world title with French team-mate Stravius in 2011, was fifth.
It did not all go the USA's way. Olympic champion Yannick Agnel (FRA) bagged his second gold medal of the championships with a runaway victory in the men's 200m freestyle. Already a Barcelona gold medallist in the French 4x100m freestyle relay on Day 1, Agnel won in 1:44.20. Conor Dwyer (USA) came through on the last length to snatch the silver in 1:45.32, with Danila Izotov (RUS) taking the bronze in 1:45.59. Defending champion Ryan Lochte had to settle for fourth but that was one of the few disappointments for the USA.
Katinka Hosszu (HUN), newly crowned 200m individual medley world champion, just missed a place in the 200m freestyle final, while Takeshi Matsuda (JPN), twice Olympic bronze medallist, failed to make the men's 200m butterfly final in which he had previously collected two silvers and a bronze.
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