Katie Ledecky Drops 200 Free From 2022 Worlds Championship Schedule

Katie Ledecky has dropped the 200 free from her lineup individually at the 2022 World Championships. That means she will race the 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyles individually, and, we presume, still the 800 free relay.

Historically, the 200 free has been the least-successful of Ledecky’s core events internationally. She won Olympic gold in the event in Rio, but placed 5th in Tokyo last summer.

Her 1:54.66 from February ranks her tied with rival Ariarne Titmus in the event globally this season. In spite of very fast times in the 400, 800, and 1500 freestyles, Ledecky was half-a-second slower in the 200 free, in 1:55.15, at Trials last week in Greensboro.

She will be replaced by Leah Smith, who finished 3rd at Trials in 1:57.44. Smith was already on the roster in the 400 and 800 freestyles individually, and also as a member of the American 800 free relay team. She has an Olympic gold medal (2016) and two World Championship gold medals (2015, 2017) on the American 800 free relay, but no individual Olympic medals in the event.

Smith joins teenager Claire Weinstein, who was 2nd at Trials in 1:57.08, as representing the U.S. in that event at the World Championships.

Of note, the 7th-place finisher in the 200 free Erin Gemmell (daughter of Ledecky’s former coach Bruce Gemmell) was not pulled up on to the U.S. roster, even though there was space. We have seen a similar situation at least once before: after the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, 200 freestyle winner Michael Phelps scratched the race individually for the Olympics, but remained as part of the 800 free relay. Davis Tarwater, the 7th-place finisher in the 200 free at Trials, was added to the U.S. roster that year.

Ledecky also dropped the 200 free from her lineup at the 2019 World Championships (because of an illness), and at the 2013 World Championships. At the 2013 World Championships, she finished 2nd to Missy Franklin, and scratched early enough for the U.S. to insert 3rd-place finisher Shannon Vreeland into the slot instead. In 2013, Karlee Bispo, the 7th-place finisher in the 200 free at Trials, was likewise called up to fill the relay slot, just like Tarwater was a year earlier.

USA Swimming also announced who will swim the stroke 50s at Worlds, which you can read more on here.

UPDATED U.S. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER

2022 FINA World Championships Roster [image]
Women
Name Age Event(s) Hometown Club College Affiliation*
Phoebe Bacon 19 200 BK Chevy Chase, Md. Nation’s Capital Swim Club/Wisconsin Aquatics Wisconsin, ‘24
Katharine Berkoff 21 50 BK Missoula, Mont. Missoula Aquatic Club/NC State NC State, ‘23
Erika Brown 23 50 FR; 4×100 FR-R Modesto, Calif. Tennessee Aquatics Tennessee, ‘20
Mallory Comerford 24 4×100 FR-R Kalamazoo, Mich. Cardinal Aquatics Louisville, ‘19
Claire Curzan 17 100 FR; 50/100 FL; 100 BK Cary, N.C. TAC Titans ^Stanford, ‘26
Kate Douglass 20 200 BR; 4×100 FR-R Pelham, N.Y. University of Virginia Virginia, ‘23
Hali Flickinger 27 200 FL; 4×200 FR-R York, Pa. Sun Devil Swimming Georgia, ‘17
Katie Grimes 16 1500 FR; 400 IM Las Vegas, Nev. Sandpipers of Nevada N/A
Leah Hayes 16 200 IM Sugar Grove, Ill. Fox Valley Park District Riptides N/A
Natalie Hinds 28 4×100 FR-R Midland, Texas Gator Swim Club Florida, ‘16
Torri Huske 19 50/100 FR; 50 FL/100 FL Arlington, Va. Stanford University Stanford, ‘25
Lilly King 25 50/100/200 BR Evansville, Ind. Newburgh Sea Creatures/Greater Evansville Aquatic Team Indiana, ‘19
Annie Lazor 27 100 BR Beverly Hills, Mich. Indiana Swim Club/Mission Viejo Nadadores Ohio State/Auburn, ‘16
Katie Ledecky 25 400/800/1500 FR Bethesda, Md. Nation’s Captial/Gator Swim Club Stanford, ‘20
Bella Sims 17 4×200 FR-R Las Vegas, Nev. Sandpipers of Nevada N/A
Leah Smith 27 200/400/800 FR; 4×200 FR-R Pittsburgh, Pa. Longhorn Aquatics Virginia, ‘17
Regan Smith 20 50/100 BK; 200 FL Lakeville, Minn. Stanford University Stanford, ‘25
Alex Walsh 20 200 IM; 4×200 FR-R Nashville, Tenn. Nashville Aquatic Club/University of Virginia Virginia, ‘24
Claire Weinstein 15 200 FR White Plains, N.Y. Sandpipers of Nevada N/A
Emma Weyant 20 400 IM Sarasota, Fla. Sarasota Sharks Virginia, ‘25
Rhyan White 22 200 BK Herriman, Utah University of Alabama/WFFM Alabama, ‘22
Men
Name Age Event(s) Hometown Club College Affiliation*
Michael Andrew 23 50 FR; 50/100 BR; 50/100 FL Encinitas, Calif. MA Swim Academy N/A
Hunter Armstrong 21 50/100 BK; 4×100 FR-R Dover, Ohio The Ohio State University Ohio State, ‘24
Coby Carrozza 21 4×200 FR-R Austin, Texas University of Texas Texas, ‘24
Shaine Casas 22 200 BK McAllen, Texas Longhorn Aquatics N/A
Charlie Clark 20 800/1500 FR Sandusky, Ohio The Ohio State University/Vacationland Swim Club Ohio State, ‘24
Brooks Curry 21 100 FR Atlanta, Ga. Louisiana State University LSU, ‘23
Caeleb Dressel 25 50/100 FR; 50/100 FL Green Cove Springs, Fla. Gator Swim Club Florida, ‘18
Nic Fink 28 50/100/200 BR Morristown, N.J. Metro Atlantic Aquatic Club Georgia, ‘15
Bobby Finke 22 800/1500 FR Clearwater, Fla. Gator Swim Club Florida, ‘22
Carson Foster 20 200/400 IM; 4×200 FR-R Cincinnati, Ohio University of Texas/Mason Manta Rays Texas, ‘24
Trey Freeman 22 400 FR; 4×200 FR-R Emigration Canyon, Utah University of Florida/Baylor Swim Club Florida, ‘23
Ryan Held 26 4×100 FR-R Springfield, Ill. NYAC/Sun Devil Swimming NC State, ‘18
Trenton Julian 23 200 FL; 4×200 FR-R Glendale, Calif. Rose Bowl Aquatics Cal-Berkeley, ‘21
Chase Kalisz 28 200/400 IM Baltimore, Md. Athens Bulldog Swim Club Georgia, ‘17
Drew Kibler 22 200 FR; 4×100 FR-R Carmel, Ind. University of Texas Texas, ‘22
Ryan Murphy 26 100/200 BK Ponte Vedra Beach, Calif. California Aquatics Cal-Berkeley, ‘17
Justin Ress 24 50 BK; 4×100 FR-R Cary, N.C. Wolfpack Elite NC State, ‘15
Kieran Smith 22 200/400 FR Ridgefield, Conn. Ridgefield Aquatic Club/University of Florida Florida, ‘22
Charlie Swanson 24 200 BR Richmond, Va. Club Wolverine Michigan, ‘21
Luca Urlando 20 200 FL Sacramento, Calif. University of Georgia/DART Swimming – Davis Georgia, ‘24
* Future year marks anticipated graduation date
^ Verbally committed
NOTES: Age at the opening of the 2022 FINA World Championships on June 18, 2022; Relay line-ups will be determined by the coaching staff.
Women’s Team Head Coach: Todd DeSorbo (University of Virginia)
Men’s Team Head Coach: Anthony Nesty (University of Florida)
Assistant Coaching Staff: Ron Aiken (Sandpipers of Nevada), Carol Capitani (University of Texas), Bill Dorenkott (The Ohio State University), Bruce Marchionda (TAC Titans), Greg Meehan (Alto Swim Club), Eddie Reese (University of Texas)
Events are subject to change. Athletes, coaches and events are updated as of May 3,, 2022.

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Bobo Gigi
3 months ago

Very smart move!
She had no gold medal chance in the 200 free.

Caleb
3 months ago

Good for her! This is just tackling a new challenge. We’ve seen what she can do in a meet where she swims 200-400-800-1500… she can win them all, it’s amazing. Now let’s see how fast she can go in a tapered 1500 when she doesn’t have to double.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Caleb
3 months ago

One can only speculate. At the age of 25, it was time to lighten the load.

Tea rex
3 months ago

I don’t mind this. This may be her last best chance at a 1500 WR. Has she ever swum 1500 on a full taper without the 200 free conflicting?
Meanwhile, she should have plenty of chances to hone her 200 during the back half of her career. She will even swim it at Worlds, and if it’s like 2021 she may go faster in the relay than she would individually.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Tea rex
3 months ago

From a purely historical perspective, Katie Ledecky’s greatest race was the women’s 1500 meter freestyle at the 2013 FINA World Aquatics Championships. Katie Ledecky and Lotte Friis broke Kate Ziegler’s world record.

https://youtu.be/bgNTzvz2hOk

Katie Ledecky dropped the individual women’s 200 meter freestyle from her program at the 2013 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Tik Tok
Reply to  Tea rex
3 months ago

>Has she ever swum 1500 on a full taper without the 200 free conflicting?

Yes. 2013 Worlds in Barcelona.

Luigi
3 months ago

In swimming, it is not common, as you get older, to focus on the longer end of your best distances. Quite the opposite. She is an outlier in that respect, too. This must have to do with what mr Hardt said: she has been an “imposter” in the 200 free all along.
I never thought I would see the end of her dominance in the 400 free, by the way.

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
3 months ago

On the flip side, there has been case when a female athlete did not swim the individual women’s 200 meter freestyle at trials, yet swam the final of the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay at a major international competition.

Tik Tok
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
3 months ago

Nathalie Coughlin, Libby Trickett. They swam fastest split in the relay as well

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  Tik Tok
3 months ago

For the Americans, the last female swimmer was Maya DiRado.

Billy
3 months ago

Katie can swim any event she wants to, she’s earned that right and then some. Best of luck to her!

swimfan210_
3 months ago

Wonder if this says anything about what her training focus will be. Without the individual 200, will she focus more on the distance events? Could it affect her performance in the relay?

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  swimfan210_
3 months ago

At least Katie Ledecky will be more rested for the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay.

I would be more worried about the other three swimmers especially without Paige Madden and Katie McLaughlin on the women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay.

RMS
3 months ago

The 200 semis are right before the 1500 final. I don’t blame her for dropping the 200. I believe after her performance at trials, she believes she has something special in store for the 1500.

Troyy
Reply to  RMS
3 months ago

The 200 semi is the later.

RMS
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Not from what I saw on the Fina site. But regardless, who would want to sprint a 200 after a mile final?

Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Reply to  RMS
3 months ago

The women’s 1500 meter freestyle final precedes the women’s 200 meter freestyle semifinal.

https://www.fina.org/news/2510322/fina-announces-the-competition-schedule-for-the-fina-world-championships-budapest-2022

Troyy
Reply to  RMS
3 months ago

comment image

RMS
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Bet this post made you feel real good for me mistaking the M for a W. Lmao

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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