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Ledecky, McIntosh post wins at Knoxville Pro Swim

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky cruised to victory in the women’s 400m freestyle Thursday, Jan. 11, her second win in as many nights at the Pro Swim series meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Katie Ledecky looks on after finishing the Women’s 400 Meter Freestyle prelims on Day 2 of the TYR Pro Swim Series Knoxville at Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center on Thursday, Jan. 11, in Knoxville, Tennessee. (AFP)

Ledecky, ramping up preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics, followed up her 1,500m free triumph on Wednesday with a 400m victory in 4min 03.46sec, 2.20 seconds ahead of Paige Madden.

Ledecky, who won her first Olympic gold medal at London in 2012, said every Olympic year brings a new challenge.

“It feels different every time,” she told broadcaster NBC. “I’m older now, just little things are different. But I’m enjoying it all the same and I try to use my experience to my benefit as I move forward.”

Canadian Summer McIntosh, who shocked Ledecky in the 400m free at the US Open in North Carolina in late November, opted for the 200m butterfly instead on Thursday and clocked 2:05.73 for a dominant win in an event in which she’s a two-time world champion.

Emma Sticklen was second in the 200m fly in 2:08.57 and Kelly Pash was third in 2:09.02.

The event had been expected to provide a showdown between McIntosh and American record-holder Regan Smith, but Smith withdrew from the meeting because of illness.

The meet also lost a little star power when seven-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel withdrew, posting on Instagram that the meet was a “little too close” to his wife Meghan’s due date for the birth of their first child.

Dressel, who had been entered in four events, won five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. The 27-year-old took a break from the sport after withdrawing from the 2022 World Championships and notched the first victory of his return at the US Open in North Carolina in December.

World record-holder and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Lilly King won the women’s 100m breaststroke in 1:05.67 with Ireland’s Mona McSharry second in 1:06.23.

Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby was third in 1:06.62.

American Jack Alexy, who won silver in the 50m and 100m free at last year’s World Championships, won the 100m free in 48.24.

Austrian Martin Espernberger won the men’s 200m fly in 1:56.58. Espernberger overtook Trenton Julian in the final 25 meters, Julian settling for second in 1:56.97.

Felix Auboeck added another victory for Austria, overtaking Belgium’s Lucas Henveaux over the final 100m to win the men’s 400m free in 3:46.78.

Henveaux was second in 3:48.78 and American Kieran Smith was third in 3:49.63.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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