Katie Ledecky breaks female record for most swimming worlds medals

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BUDAPEST — Katie Ledecky broke the female record with her 21st career world swimming championships medal, a gold as part of the U.S. 4x200m freestyle relay team on Wednesday.

Ledecky had the third-fastest split in history, and best of her career, as the Americans took gold after silvers at the most recent Olympics and worlds.

Ledecky broke her tie with Natalie Coughlin for the most medals in world championships history for a woman. Two men have more medals: Michael Phelps (33) and Ryan Lochte (27).

She also tied Ryan Lochte for the second-most gold medals (18), trailing only Phelps (26).

Earlier, 15-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh became the youngest individual world championships gold medalist since 2011 (Ye Shiwen), taking the 200m butterfly in a world junior record 2:05.20. American Hali Flickinger earned silver, just as she did at the 2019 Worlds.

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Romanian 17-year-old David Popovici became the first swimmer to sweep the 100m and 200m frees at a worlds since the very first edition in 1973. Popovici won the 100m in 47.58, edging Frenchman Maxime Grousset by six hundredths.

The race lacked reigning Olympic and world champion Caeleb Dressel, who withdrew from the meet a day after scratching the 100m free semis on unspecified medical grounds.

French 20-year-old Leon Marchand completed a sweep of the individual medleys, taking the 200m by .49 over American Carson Foster, who also bagged silver in the 400m IM. Marchand competes at Arizona State under Bob Bowman, the longtime coach of Michael Phelps.

American Katharine Berkoff earned silver in the 50m backstroke, eight hundredths behind Canadian Kylie Masse.

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Katie Ledecky breaks female record for most swimming worlds medals originally appeared on NBCSports.com