SWIMMING: Ledecky posts 200 m Free and 400 m Medley wins at Tyr Pro Swim Series opener

Freestyle superstar Katie Ledecky (USA)

The first significant U.S. competition of 2019 opened with a strong performance by superstar Katie Ledecky, who won two events and then said she had no intention of swimming one of them seriously in the future.

She was the only double winner on the first full night of the Tyr Pro Swim Series opened before a modest, mid-week crowd at the Jones Aquatic Center at the University of Tennessee. She dominated the 200 m Freestyle over a good field, posting a winning time of 1:55.78 on 10 January, a time that only five swimmers in the world – including Ledecky – beat in all of 2018!

Ledecky came back to win the 400 m Medley in 4:39.39, not far off her lifetime best of 4:38.16 from 2017. She had a big deficit early, but swam an impressive 60.09 in the final 100 m to overhaul Hali Flickinger (4:39.80). Ledecky’s time qualified her for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the event, but she made it clear in a post-race interview with NBC’s Olympic Channel that the Medley is not in her plans for Tokyo in 2020.

Elsewhere on the women’s side, the stars of December’s FINA World Short-Course Championships showed they haven’t been asleep during the holidays. Olivia Smoliga, who won eight golds at the Short-Course Worlds, won the 50 m Back in 27.85; Kelsi Dahlia, who won nine Worlds medals, won the 100 m fly in 57.86 and World 200 m Breast champ Annie Lazor won the 100 m Breast in 1:06.89.

Michael Andrew posted an impressive win over double Olympic champ Ryan Murphy in the 50 m Backstroke, 24.73-24.95 and Short-Course Worlds silver winner Josh Prenot was easily the best in the 400 m Medley, winning in 4:18.74.

Sixteen-year-old Gianluca Urlando continues to show he’s an athlete to watch, as he got an Olympic Trials–qualifying mark in the men’s 200 m Free, barely out-touched by Brazil’s Joao de Lucca, 1:49.48-1:49.51.

The meet continues on Friday and Saturday, with NBC’s Olympic Channel carrying the finals on Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Summaries:

USA Swimming Tyr Pro Swim Series
Knoxville, Tennessee (USA) ~ 9-12 January 2019
(Full results here)

(All U.S. unless otherwise indicated)

200 m Freestyle: 1. Joao de Lucca (BRA), 1:49.48; 2. Gianluca Urlando, 1:49.51; 3. Chase Kalisz, 1:50.47.

800 m Free: 1. Anton Ipsen (DEN), 8:00.34; 2. Taylor Abbott, 8:09.54; 3. Jeremy Bagshaw (CAN), 8:12.81.

50 m Backstroke: 1. Michael Andrew, 24.73; 2. Ryan Murphy, 24.95; 3. Daniel Carr, 25.18.

100 m Breaststroke: 1. Andrew Wilson, 1:00.57; 2. Nic Fink, 1:00.61; 3. Josh Prenot, 1:00.76.

100 m Butterfly: 1. Marius Kusch (GER), 52.06; 2. Luis Martinez (GUA), 52.14; 3. Giles Smith, 52.40.

400 m Medley: 1. Prenot, 4:18.74; 2. Carson Foster, 4:20.27; 3. Ipsen (DEN), 4:20.72.

(All U.S. unless otherwise indicated)

200 m Freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, 1:55.78; 2. Simone Manuel, 1:58.52; 3. Melanie Margalis, 1:58.68.

800 m Free: 1. Ashley Twichell, 8:32.27; 2. Erica Sullivan, 8:37.39; 3. Mariah Denigan, 8:38.14.

50 m Backstroke: 1. Olivia Smoliga, 27.85; 2. Kayla Sanchez (CAN), 28.13; 3. Kathleen Baker, 28.37.

100 m Breaststroke: 1. Annie Lazor, 1:06.89; 2. Micah Sumrall, 1:07.78; 3. Kierra Smith (CAN), 1:08.21.

100 m Butterfly: 1. Kelsi Dahlia, 57.86; 2. Kendyl Stewart, 58.25; 3. Penny Oleksiak (CAN), 58.33.

400 m Medley: 1. Ledecky, 4:39.39; 2. Hali Flickinger, 4:39.80; 3. Margalis, 4:40.31.

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