Katie Ledecky Wins 400M Freestyle at 2022 World Swimming Championships

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 18, 2022

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 18: Katie Ledecky of Team United States looks on in the Women's 400m Freestyle heat on day one of the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships at Duna Arena on June 18, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Ten-time Olympic medalist Katie Ledecky added another accolade to her resume Saturday, winning the 400-meter freestyle swim at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Ledecky finished the race in 3:58.15, giving her a fourth career gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle at the world championships, and a fifth medal overall in the event.

Summer McIntosh, a 15-year-old Canadian, took silver just over a second behind Ledecky, while Ledecky's American teammate Leah Smith won bronze.

Here is a full rundown of the finishers in Saturday's race, along with their times:

1. Katie Ledecky - 3:58.15

2. Summer McIntosh - 3:59.39

3. Leah Smith - 4:02.08

4. Lani Pallister - 4:02.16

5. Isabel Gose - 4:03.47

6. Erika Fairweather - 4:04.73

7. Kiah Melverton - 4:05.62

8. Muhan Tang - 4:10.70

Remarkably, Ledecky has now won 19 medals across five different world championships, 16 of which were gold.

The 25-year-old superstar also has seven gold medals out of 10 total medals at the Olympics, including gold in the 400-meter freestyle at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

While Ledecky was once the unquestioned dominant force in the 400m, that has changed in recent years following the emergence of Australia's Ariarne Titmus, who won gold in the event at both the 2019 world championships and 2020 Summer Olympics with Ledecky finishing second each time.

Ledecky lost by less than a second at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, setting her on a path to attempt to reclaim her place atop the 400m mountain.

The path to world championship gold was made much clearer and easier for Ledecky when the 21-year-old Titmus decided against competing at the world championships.

Earlier Saturday, Ledecky established herself as the clear favorite for gold by posting a time of 3:59.79 in heats, which was over three seconds better than McIntosh, who posted the second-best time at 4:03.19.

With a gold medal already in her back pocket after just one day of action in the books, Ledecky will set her sights on the 800-meter freestyle, 1,500-meter freestyle and 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

Ledecky is the heavy favorite for gold in the 800m and 1,500m, and she has a legitimate shot at gold in the relay as well after taking silver in the event at the 2019 world championships and 2020 Olympics.