Stunner in Budapest: Ledecky loses for first time at worlds

Stunner in Budapest: Ledecky loses for first time at worlds

The 20-year-old swimmer tied for second in the 200m freestyle race at the world championships in Budapest on Wednesday, matching times with Emma McKeon at 1:55.18.

The race was won by Federica Pellegrini of Italy in 1:54.73.

"Her confidence is so impressive", Ledecky said.

Pellegrini is the world record-holder in the 200 free but lost to Ledecky two years ago in Russian Federation.

Bidding to become only the second female swimmer to win six golds at a single worlds, Ledecky settled for silver in the 200-meter freestyle Wednesday evening when Italys Federica Pellegrini surged to a stunning victory on the final lap.

She clocked one minute 04.13 seconds in the final, beating Ruta Meilutyte's 2013 record, to add world gold to the Olympic title she won previous year in Rio de Janeiro.

Ledecky entered the 200-meter freestyle final as the favorite, as she had won 13 of 13 finals in this event during worldwide competitions in her career.

Ledecky still has two more events where she is heavily favored to take gold.

"The experience of knowing how it went two years ago, I knew I could do it again", Ledecky told a news conference. "I think I'm still learning ... over the years, over the months on how to manage those expectations, but I don't think that had any effect on me today".

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"I didn't come in saying "I'm going to defend my title", but to rather enjoy racing these girls, they're fantastic, there's great depth in the backstroke".

Meanwhile, the United States broke the mixed 4x100m medley world-record at the world aquatic championships on Wednesday while Cameron McEvoy was the fastest from the men's 100m freestyle heats.

McKeon got off to a blistering start, making the first turn more than a half-second below the world-record pace, while Ledecky normally a slow starter because of her distance background was lagging in fifth. "I know this race will really motivate me moving forward".

"I honestly thought the one to win the race would be Katie", Pellegrini said. She will also compete in the 800 meter freestyle.

McKeon led Ledecky by.01 after 150 meters, but Pellegrini chased down both swimmers with the fastest final length. Cseh rallied furiously over the final lap but couldnt catch South African star Chad le Clos, who took the gold in 1:53.33.

Head of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malagò, was delighted to see Pellegrini take home gold at the event.

King defiantly pounded the water when she saw the "WR" beside her time, then turned to congratulate the runner-up - American teammate Katie Meili, who edged out the Russian for the silver.

Four world records were set on Tuesday and fast racing was plainly evident the morning as the USA team of Ryan Murphy, Kevin Cordes, Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford posted 3:40.28 ahead of the final later.

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