Former Stanford stars Manuel, Ledecky earn silver at Worlds


Former Stanford All-Americans Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky each collected a silver medal on the first day of the swimming competition at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea on Sunday.

Manuel earned her medal as the anchor leg of the women’s 400 meter freestyle relay and Ledecky finished second in the 400 free.

Katie Ledecky/USA Swimming
Ledecky failed to place first in the 400 for the first time in a major international meet. Australia’s Ariarne Titmus swam past Ledecky in the final 100 meters to win with a time of 3:58.76, the eighth fastest time in the event’s history.

Ledecky, who owns nine of the top 10 times in the event’s history, touched at 3:59.97. USA’s Leah Smith was third in 4:01.29.

“I’m all right,” Ledecky told USA Swimming. “Obviously it wasn’t the swim I wanted and it didn’t go as I wanted it but I have a lot of racing ahead of me, so I’ve got to move on. I made a move and came into the last turn and felt like I could barely push off. My legs and arms just kind of tightened up that last 50. She took advantage of that and had a great swim.”

Ledecky took the lead at 250 meters but Titmus went on to win by over a second, becoming the third swimmer to finish under four minutes. The other two are Ledecky and Smith.

Titmus swam 29.51 over the final 50 meters while Ledecky went 31.34 to fall behind.

“I knew she was going to be really tough, and I know she takes the race out fast and that I had to be prepared for that,” Ledecky said. “I felt like I stayed pretty calm during the race but when I made my move, she responded and when I tightened up, she ran me right down. I’ll rebound off this and get focused on my next races.”

It took a meet record from the Australian women to edge the U.S. in the 400 free relay. The Aussie went 3:30.21 to capture gold while the Americans were within reach most of the way. Manuel passed her Canadian counterpart to help the U.S. finish in second in a time of 3:31.02. Canada finished in 3:31.78.

Stanford's Taylor Ruck helped the Canadian women's 400 free relay team finish third behind Australia and the USA.

Recent Stanford grad Ella Eastin qualified for the semifinals of the 200 individual medley but just missed reaching the final, placing ninth overall in a time of 2:10.72.

— Palo Alto Sports Online/USA Swimming

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