Katie Ledecky and Olympians Shine at U.S. Trials, Setting Records and Inspiring Future Stars

Seven-time Olympic gold medallist Katie Ledecky triumphed in the 200m freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis, qualifying for the Paris Games. Alongside her, Katie Grimes and Ryan Murphy secured victories, while Regan Smith set a new U.S. record in the 100m backstroke. The event, held inside an NFL stadium, drew record-breaking audiences.


Reuters | Updated: 18-06-2024 08:00 IST | Created: 18-06-2024 08:00 IST
Katie Ledecky and Olympians Shine at U.S. Trials, Setting Records and Inspiring Future Stars
Katie Ledecky

Seven-time Olympic gold medallist Katie Ledecky stormed to victory in the 200m freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic trials in Indianapolis on Monday, while Katie Grimes outdueled Emma Weyant to win a thrilling 400m individual medley.

Ledecky had already qualified for the Paris Games in the 400m freestyle at the trials, which are being held over nine nights at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The 27-year-old will also lead a relay team that includes Claire Weinstein, Paige Madden, and Erin Gemmell.

"We're going to get together over the next couple weeks and put together a great showing," said Ledecky. "Hopefully there are a lot of young girls out there who want to be on this relay one day."

In the women's 400m IM, Grimes got off to a hot start before reigning Olympic silver medallist Weyant made her move as the thousands of swimming fans on hand roared. Grimes, 18, managed to fend off Weyant and Lilla Bognar to touch the wall first with a time of 4:35.00 in the gruelling event. "I knew that my backstroke was fine and when I turned at the wall for the breaststroke I just said, 'don't look back, don't look to the side,'" she said.

"I knew that as long as I touched the wall at the same time as Emma I would be able to stick in there with her, so I was just trying to finish." Grimes, who was the youngest member of the U.S. team at the Tokyo Games, has already qualified for the Paris Games in open water swimming and now also has a place in the pool.

Four-times Olympic gold medallist Ryan Murphy punched his ticket to his third Games with victory in the men's 100m backstroke where he edged Hunter Armstrong, who also qualified. Murphy, 28, said he is having more fun than ever in the sport.

"I enjoy it a little bit more than I used to," he said. "I used to feel like I was going to throw up before every race."

Indiana native Lilly King won the women's 100m breaststroke and said her state has a huge fanbase for the sport. "We love swimming here - we're a swimming state," said two-time Olympic gold medallist King, who will be appearing in her third Games.

"We're really proud of that and I'm glad I get to represent us." Luke Hobson will compete in the individual 200m freestyle on his Olympic debut after his victory in the final at the trials and will be part of a relay team that includes Chris Guiliano, Drew Kibler and Kieran Smith.

Regan Smith broke her own U.S. record in the second 100m backstroke semi-final, touching in 57.47. The three-time Olympic medallist previously set the record in May with a time of 57.51. The trials are being held for the first time inside of an NFL stadium that has been transformed into the world's largest indoor swimming venue.

It has already set the record for the largest audience to witness a swim meet.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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