BUDAPEST, Hungary — Italy’s Thomas Cekan set a world record in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, while Bethesda native Katie Ledecky captured another gold medal at the swimming world championships on Monday.
Ceccon shocks Budapest game Beats the previous best by 0.15 seconds by timing 51.60 seconds Set by American Ryan Murphy at the 2016 Olympics.
Murphy was second, 0.37 seconds behind, followed by compatriot Hunter Armstrong, 0.38 seconds behind Checon.
Ledecky extended her title to 17 times when the young bearded Italian claimed his first world title, finishing fourth in the 1,500m freestyle.
Ledecky never looked threatened and clocked a time of 15:30.15 – less than 10 seconds more than her 2018 world record – 14.74 seconds ahead of fellow American Katie Grimes.
Ledecky hit the water happily, then hugged her teammate.
The 16-year-old Grimes is the second-youngest medalist since Ledecky won the world championships for the first time in 2013 with 1,500 runners.
Ledecky also won titles in 2015 and 2017, and has won at least four world titles in the 1,500, 800 and 400 freestyle events. Only compatriot Michael Phelps has also won at least four gold medals in three different swimming events in the world.
Australian Lani Pallister finished third with a 18.81 over Ledecky for his country’s first medal at the event. The 1,500m freestyle is the only women’s event in the world without an Australian swimmer on the podium.
The second fastest Italian in qualifying, Simone Quadarella, finished fifth, more than half a minute behind.
Reagan Smith won another gold for the U.S. team in the women’s 100-meter backstroke, finishing 0.18 points ahead of Canadian rival Kelly Massey in 58.22 seconds, with another American, Claire Kozan, finishing third.
Then the Italian show started with Ceccon.
He is the second Italian to set a world record in long-distance swimming after George Lambert. Lambert holds the 1989-99 men’s 200-meter freestyle record.
Italy’s Benedetta Pilato followed, winning the women’s 100m breaststroke in 1:05.93, 0.05 points ahead of Germany’s Anna Erendt and 0.09 points ahead of Lithuania’s Ruta Merutit .
17-year-old Pilatto couldn’t contain his joy, becoming the youngest Italian swimmer to win a gold medal at the world championships.
She takes her country’s gold medal total to three, already as many as Italian swimmers have achieved in previous worlds.
In addition, Romania’s David Popovic won the men’s 200m world junior record with a time of 1:43.21 (1.26 seconds ahead of the race).
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