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Katie Ledecky Wins Gold Medal in 4x200m Relay at 2022 World Swimming Championships

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 22, 2022

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Katie Ledecky and Team USA won gold in the women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday.

Ledecky teamed with Leah Smith, Claire Weinstein and Bella Sims as the United States won a medal at the event for a 10th consecutive world championships and gold for the fifth time in the past six world championships.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

A championship record for <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamUSA</a>!<br><br>The women's 4x200m freestyle relay team set a championship record to win gold!<a href="https://twitter.com/USASwimming?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USASwimming</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINABudapest2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINABudapest2022</a> <a href="https://t.co/7weRsYnRft">pic.twitter.com/7weRsYnRft</a>

Australia took silver after winning gold at the last world championships in 2019, while Canada repeated as bronze medalists.

Here is how all eight nations fared in the final:

1. United States - 7:41.45

2. Australia - 7:43.86

3. Canada - 7:44.76

4. China - 7:45.72

5. Hungary - 7:57.90

6. Brazil - 7:58.38

7. New Zealand - 7:59.08

8. Japan - 8:00.03

While the United States fell short of a world record, its time was good for a world championships record, and Ledecky's 200-meter split of 1:53.6 seconds was the second-fastest in the history of the event.

Ledecky has won gold in each of the three events she has competed in at the 2022 world championships. She won individual gold medals in the 400-meter freestyle and 1,500-meter freestyle.

Wednesday's gold marks the 18th world championships gold medal of the 25-year-old phenom's career and her 21st world championships medal overall, both of which are records for a female swimmer.

Additionally, Ledecky is a seven-time gold medalist and three-time silver medalist across three Olympic Games.

While Ledecky won gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 2013, 2015 and 2017 world championships, as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics, the event had become a frustration for her.

Australia beat out Ledecky and the Americans for 4x200m gold at the 2019 world championships, and China defeated them at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Team USA employed a unique strategy Wednesday as veterans Smith and Ledecky swam the second and third legs, respectively, while Weinstein led off and Sims closed.

The United States trailed Canada when Ledecky entered the water thanks to a blistering pace set by 15-year-old Summer McIntosh, but Ledecky closed the gap and handed the lead to Sims.

Despite hot pursuit from the Aussies, Canadians and Chinese, Sims maintained the lead and closed out a golden moment for Team USA.

Ledecky has won four or more gold medals at the world championships three times and has a chance to accomplish that feat again.

Her opportunity will come Friday if, as expected, she makes it to the 800-meter freestyle final.

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