Katie Ledecky, USA Win 4x100m Free Relay at 2017 World Aquatics Championships

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2017

United States' Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Worrell, Katie Ledecky, and Simone Manuel, from left, attend the ceremony after winning the gold medal in the women's 4x100-meter freestyle final during the swimming competitions of the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, July 23, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

The United States continued its great start at the World Aquatics Championships as the women's team took home first place in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay.

The USA Swimming account celebrated the win:

USA Swimming @USASwimming

American Record and gold for #TeamUSA in the women's 400m free relay to close out day one! #FINABudapest2017 https://t.co/knRsI00Uoh

It was already the second gold medal of the day for Katie Ledecky, who also won the 400-meter freestyle earlier Sunday.

The superstar is aiming for six gold medals in Budapest, which would tie a record for the most at a single world championship.

She could reach this mark with ease if her past success in any indication. Gracenote Olympic noted just how good Ledecky has been in the biggest events in her career:

Gracenote Olympic @GracenoteGold

Katie Ledecky has won 16 of the 17 events she has entered at world championships and Olympic Games. #FINA2017Budapest

While Ledecky did her part, she actually had the slowest U.S. leg at 53.83 seconds. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports credited Mallory Comerford and Simone Manuel for their work at the start and end of the relay:

Pat Forde @YahooForde

Wow, Simone Manuel CLOSES the 400 free relay, pulling out gold in final 10 meters. Mallory Comerford an American record on the leadoff leg.

Manuel is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 100-meter freestyle, and she showcased her ability to pull away from the field on the final leg.

The team finished in a time of 3:31.72, just ahead of Australia's second-place run of 3:32.01. The Netherlands earned the bronze medal with a time of 3:32.64.

Sweden got everything it could out of star Sarah Sjostrom. She not only put her team in the lead on the opening leg, but she also set a world record in the process, per Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports:

Nick Zaccardi @nzaccardi

Sarah Sjostrom shatters women's 100m freestyle world record by .35 leading off 4x100m free relay. A shame she's not swimming 200 free.

Her split of 51.71 seconds was easily the best of the day, but the country didn't have quite as much depth as the United States or other teams. Sweden finished behind Canada in fifth place.

However, this was a chance for the United States to celebrate its win after losing to Australia in this event during the Rio Olympics. Both Ledecky and Manuel were part of the finals squad that took silver, and Sunday's result allowed them to avenge their loss against Bronte Campbell and Emma McKeon two years later.


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