LOOK: Katie Ledecky finally lost a race at the swimming world championships – CBSSports.com
Katie Ledecky’s aspirations of becoming the second female swimmer to win six gold medals at one world championships were dashed in the 200-meter freestyle on Wednesday. Ledecky “only” got silver, as Italy’s Federica Pellegrini was able to defeat the 20-year-old American star. Pellegrini, who currently holds six of the top seven spots for the 200 freestyle (with a time of 1:52.98) edged Ledecky out for the win.
Ledecky still has two more events where she is heavily favored to take gold. Of the silver medal, Ledecky seemed disappointed but confident going forward.
“It happens,” she said. “It happens to every athlete at some point. I know this race will really motivate me moving forward and the rest of the week as well.”
As for the race itself, Ledecky seemed to isolate herself from the other swimmers.
“I didn’t really feel at the end that I had that extra gear that I normally have,” she said. “I didn’t really see much for the last 50, so I was just trying to put together a good race.”
It was just enough for Pellegrini, who took the last 50 meters at an absurd 28.82 seconds. It’s a testament to Ledecky’s dominance at these worlds that Pellegrini, clearly no stranger to the podium, seemed so shocked to have won.
“I honestly thought the one to win the race would be Katie,” she said.
Adding to her disbelief, Pellegrini said, “It’s incredible. I didn’t believe I would make it. I still can’t believe it.”
Missy Franklin remains the only swimmer to win six gold medals at one worlds event, but Ledecky’s 12 gold medals have her behind only Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte for the most all-time.