Ledecky captures 200 free title at US swim meet


Chicago (AFP)

Five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky won the 200-meter freestyle crown at the US Swim Championships, taking her second title of the qualifying meet for next month's World Championships.

Ledecky, who won the 800 free Tuesday after finishing sixth in the 100 free, will swim for titles Friday in the 400 free and Saturday in the 1,500 free.

The 20-year-old reigning world and Olympic 200m champion won in 1min 54.84secs, defeating Leah Smith by 1.84 seconds.

She could swim in four individual events and two relays at next month's World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, with a strong showing at this five-day meet in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ledecky captured 200, 400 and 800 free Olympic gold last year in Rio -- defending the 800 crown she won in London -- and helped the US women's 4x200 relay win as well.

Ledecky won the world 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle titles and shared in a 4x200 free relay win in 2013 in Barcelona then defended those crowns while adding the 200 world title in 2015 at Russia.

Reigning Olympic 100 and 200 backstroke champion Ryan Murphy won the 200 back crown in 1:54.30, downing Rio Olympian Jacob Pebley by .48 of a second.

Kathleen Baker, the 2016 Rio Olympic 100 back runner-up, won the 200 back crown in 2:06.38 with 15-year-old Regan Smith second in 2:08.55.

Caeleb Dressel won the 50 butterfly in a meet-record 23.05, breaking the mark of 23.26 set by runner-up Cullen Jones in qualifying. Jones swam 23.27 in the final.

In the 200 breaststroke, Olympian Kevin Cordes won his third national crown in 2:07.41 while Lilly King took the women's title in 2:21.83.

Townley Haas won the men's 200 free in 1:45.03 while Kelsi Worrell took the women's 50 butterfly in 25.69.