At the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia on Saturday, Katie Ledecky smashed another world record and Michael Phelps won his first individual gold medal since coming out of retirement.
US teenager Ledecky set the first world record of the Gold Coast meet, shaving almost half a second off the 400m freestyle mark she set at this month’s US Championships.
The 17-year-old schoolgirl clocked 3 minutes, 58.37 seconds to eclipse her previous mark by 0.49 seconds.
“It’s a great feeling. It never really gets old,” Ledecky said of her latest world record-breaking swim. “I knew I could be right where I was at nationals, or slightly better. I’m really pleased with that.”
While it was Ledecky’s fourth gold medal of the championship, it was Olympic legend Phelps’s second win, but first individual gold in taking out the 100m butterfly from teammate Ryan Lochte.
Phelps, 29, who was a member of the US’ winning 4x200m freestyle relay on Friday, shaded Lochte by 0.38 seconds in winning the butterfly event in 51.29 seconds, adding to his haul of international titles just four months into his comeback.
“It’s definitely feels good to have that sort of confidence back to be able to do it in an individual event,” said Phelps, who has now won 15 golds over four Pan Pacs meets. “What it does is guarantee me a spot on the world championship team next summer, which is the biggest and most important thing. I know there is a lot [that] can happen in a year with training, I’m looking forward to it, it’s a building year for me.”
Phelps, an 18-time Olympic champion, said he still has a few things to iron out after ending a near two-year retirement after the London Olympics.
“After just getting back in the water and going through the ups and downs, it’s still some of the small things like hitting the walls like I want to at a high speed,” he said. “That’s something that I have to work on over the next year and really nail it.”
Ledecky holds the world records in the 400m, 800m and 1,500m freestyle to make her the first woman since US distance great Janet Evans to hold all three records at the same time.
Ledecky’s win the 400m final was her fourth gold medal of the Pan Pacs after wins in the 200m and 800m freestyle and as part of the US 4x200m freestyle relay.
“I have some long-term goals. We’re not quite there yet, but we’ll get there,” she said.
Ledecky is to race in the 1,500m freestyle event today, the last day of the meet, as she chases five gold medals.
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and
The Rakuten Monkeys remained atop the CPBL table, despite a 5-7 loss to the Uni-President Lions in Taoyuan yesterday, while the CTBC Brothers fell to the Fubon Guardians at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium. The visiting Guardians blasted three home runs in their 7-3 triumph, helping Dominican pitcher Henry Sosa pocket his second win of the season. Improving his record to 2-2, Sosa sailed through seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out five. He gave up one earned run in the opening frame, with two Brothers relievers mopping up the final two innings. Fubon’s marquee stars, designated hitter Hu Chin-lung and first baseman
When Chinese Super League club Tianjin Tianhai surprisingly thrashed Rafael Benitez’s Dalian Yifang 5-1 to stay in the league in November last year, disgruntled fans were quick to allege corruption — the legacy of a murky past that exploded into scandal 10 years ago. Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 UEFA Champions League title, was perplexed by one of the heaviest defeats of his coaching career, saying: “This is a game that I don’t quite understand.” Despite fan complaints to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), no case was brought and there is no evidence of wrongdoing. However, the haste with which some
Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world, was on Sunday charged with physically assaulting his ex-wife, prosecutors said. A court in Tbilisi charged Basilashvili with perpetrating “violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor,” before releasing him on US$30,000 bail, prosecutor Natia Guruli said. He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty. Basilashvili’s ex-wife, Neka Dorokashvili, on Sunday told Mtavari TV that Basilashvili “physically assaulted” her on Friday in the presence of their five-year-old son. Basilashvili denied the charges, his lawyer Irma Chkadua said. The 28-year-old won his second ATP Tour title at the China