WASHINGTON: Five-time Olympic swim champion Katie Ledecky launched her 2019 campaign with victories in the 200-meter freestyle and 400 individual medley at the US Pro Swim Series meet in Knoxville, Tennessee.
In a year highlighted by the World Championships in July in South Korea, 2018 series champion Ledecky dove in Thursday night by capturing the 200 in 1min 55.78secs and the 400 IM in 4:39.39.
Ledecky trailed Hali Flickinger halfway into the 400 IM but went 1:00.09 in the concluding freestyle leg to win by 0.41 of a second with Melanie Margalis third in 4:40.31.
In the 100, Ledecky defeated Simone Manuel by 2.74 seconds with Margalis third in 1:58.68.
Ledecky, 21, captured 800 free gold at the 2012 London Olympics and won the 200, 400 and 800 free at the 2016 Rio Olympics as well as helping the US women’s 4x200 free relay to gold.
Ledecky has won the 400, 800 and 1,500 free at each of the past three world championships among her 14 world crowns. She also defended 400, 800 and 1,500 free Pan Pacfic Championships titles last year in Tokyo, site of next year’s Olympics.