Phelps wins 21st Olympic gold medal; Ledecky captures second gold

Cheryl Sanders
August 11, 2016

Hungary's Katinka Hosszu snared her third gold medal at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday with a gut-busting win in the women's 200m individual medley final.

She also broke the world record in the 400 medley in Rio and was a surprise victor of the 100m backstroke, joining an elite group of female swimmers to have won three individual gold medals at a single Olympics.

Ledecky won in 1:53.73, beating Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, who finished in 1:54.08.

Speaking about taking back the title from Le Clos, Phelps said: "I wanted that one back".

"I'm excited, I'm feeling really good this week". He also set the 200m butterfly world record at the 2009 world championships in Rome, a mark that still stands today.

Well, she sort of had fun.


This may be the shortest race on Ledecky's program but it's definitely her toughest, requiring both speed and endurance against a far more competitive field.

"Pretty sure that's the closest I've come to throwing up in the middle of a race", the teenager said.

For Ledecky, the result nearly qualifies as a photo finish; her speed has often appeared unmatchable at the longer distances in which she dominates. "I thought that cost me the race, but that won me the race".

Once friends, the rivalry between the two has flared over the last four years, played out through potshots and petty sniping in the media. "I just knew I had to fight and get my hand to the wall".

Traveling throughout the world in worldwide competition has helped her to appreciate her own country, Ledecky says.

"We know we're going to push each other to get the best of each other", Ledecky said. For example, the US men didn't even qualify for the final in the 4x100 freestyle at world championships previous year.


Great Britain won the silver medal and Japan took bronze in the 4×200-meter relay. Sjostrom's Swedish team was fifth.

Up next for Ledecky is the 800-meter freestyle.

Ledecky is trying to become only the second female after Debbie Meyer in 1968 to capture the three longest freestyle events at a single Olympics.

His 21st gold came later Tuesday night after swimming the anchor leg on the 4x200-meter relay. The 1,500 is not an Olympic event.

Ledecky called the 200 metre event "a much more stressful race" than the 400 or the 800 and later said she's feeling strong going into the 800 heats on Thursday.

Barring a catastrophic upset, it's time to pencil Katie Ledecky's name into the record book.


About an hour later, Phelps was back in the water again, anchoring the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay in a race that was far from close, with the USA team - Conor Dwyer; Townley Haas; Ryan Lochte; and Phelps - shaving 6 seconds off their qualifying time to finish at 7:00.66 - just 2 seconds off the world record.

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