Katie Ledeck y started the World Championships with two gold medals in last night’s opening races. The 20-year-old American has set a lofty goal of six golds in Budapest. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s swimmers will not want to remember much from the first day of the pool events at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Israel sent a delegation of 15 athletes to the event, with 10 already in action on Sunday, including two relay teams.
However, none managed to make it past the morning heats.
Keren Siebner registered the team’s best result when she ended the women’s 100m butterfly heats in 24th place out of 46, clocking a time of 59.72 seconds.
Marcus Schlesinger finished the men’s 50m fly in 27th place, setting a time of 24.00s. Marc Hinawi was 39th in the men’s 400m freestyle after registering a disappointing time of 3:57.43m, more than five seconds slower than his personal best.
Israel’s teams in the men’s and women’s 4x100m free were also both well short of advancing.
The men were 17th from 20 teams, while the women came 11th out of 14.
Meanwhile, China’s Sun Yang destroyed the field to win a hattrick of men’s 400 meters freestyle titles while Katie Ledecky led the way again for the United States.
Sun posted a world-leading time of three minutes 41.38 seconds as he eased to victory by more than a body length over bitter Australian rival Mack Horton.
Horton beat Sun to the Olympic title last year in Rio de Janeiro, with the Australian calling the Chinese a “drug cheat” before the Games in reference to Sun having served a threemonth ban in 2014 after testing positive for a banned stimulant.
Thirty minutes later, Ledecky won the 400m freestyle in another one-woman show of speed and agility.
The 20-year-old college swimmer’s championship record time of 3:58.34 secured a trio of world titles as she became the first woman to do so in any discipline.
Leah Smith ensured a United States one-two, while Li Bingjie of China touched for bronze.
Ledecky also helped the US to a brilliant gold in the women’s 4x100m relay – which included a world record for Swede Sarah Sjostrom for the 100m freestyle – as the American quartet ruined Olympic champions Australia’s title defense.
Leading off the Swedes, who finished fifth, Sjostrom posted 51.71 seconds, smashing the time set by Australian Cate Campbell last year by 0.35 of a second.
A frenetic end to the evening’s action saw the US regain top honors in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay.
The quartet of Calaeb Remel Dressel, Townley Haas, Blake Pieroni and Nathan Adrian edged Brazil into second place.
Katinka Hosszu is favorite to follow Ledecky into the record books, judging by her form in the 200m individual medley semifinals.
The Hungarian, roared on by 12,000 fans inside the Duna Arena, qualified fastest for Monday’s final in a time of 2:07.14.Reuters contributed to this report.On TV: FINA Swimming World Championships (live on Sport5 at 10:30 a.m. (heats) and 6:30 p.m. (finals)