Ledecky wins 200 free, 3 golds in sight

Ross Houston
August 11, 2016

The only thing that mattered was getting to the wall first.

After touching the wall first - barely - he held up one finger.

Tears welled in his eyes as he listened to the national anthem - until one of his buddies from Baltimore cracked him up that shouting out "O" like they do at Camden Yards before Orioles' games.

Then there was the laughter - evidently prompted by something Phelps saw in the stands - and, more unlike anything we've seen in his previous Summer Olympics, there was Phelps interrupting the victory walk he was taking with his rivals to climb the stairs of the photographers' station, where he reached his family and gave his infant son, Boomer, a kiss on the cheek. "I didn't think I was going to be that close", Sjostrom said. "It's good to see he's awake".

Although she may still have a long way to go to catch up to the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time Michael Phelps (who casually won his 20th and 21st career gold medals last night), there's no denying Ledecky has always looked up to the swimming great. "I thought I was standing still". Chad Le Clos of South Africa, Phelps' conqueror four years ago, finished fourth. But when he decided about a year later to start competing again, the 200 fly was clearly the title he sought more than any other. Ledecky had a shot to win the race that is, for her, the object that is different from all the others. Tamas Kenderesi won the bronze only.026 of a second behind.

The relay was much less dramatic. Once I was ahead I knew I wasn't going to let it out of my hands.

The Americans touched in 7:00.66, with Britain second in 7:03.13 and Japan in third after James Guy overhauled Takeshi Matsuda on the final leg.

Australia, who led until Ledecky hit the water, took silver and Canada the bronze.

The USA 200x4-meter freestyle relay race team pose with their Gold medals after winning in the finals. Both now hold three individual world records (Phelps for the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and the 400-meter individual medley; Ledecky for the 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle).

Katinka Hosszu is having quite an Olympics, too.

Although Michael Phelps' almost back-to-back wins in the men's 200m butterfly (which, to the delight of #PhelpsFace fans, concluded with Chad le Clos in fourth place) and the 4x200m freestyle relay cemented Team USA's position atop the Olympic medal count standings, the Baltimore native wasn't the only member of the nation's delegation to bring home gold on day four.

Hosszu added to her wins in the 400 IM and 100 backstroke with a time of 2:06.58.

McKeon, who led through the first 100m but was overtaken by both Ledecky and Sjostrom by the 150m mark, clocked 1:54.92.

Berta and her non-Jewish husband Jaromir (who went by Jerry), met in the United States in 1956, about eight years after Jerry had immigrated from Prague with only five dollars in his pocket. Back then, Phelps talked about retirement and just enjoying his "final" Olympics.

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