Katie Ledecky Ties Missy Franklin with 11th LC World Championship


American swimmer Katie Ledecky has tied countrymate Missy Franklin for the most World Aquatics Championships gold medals in swimming when she won her 10th and 11th gold medals on Sunday.

On the meet’s opening day, Ledecky won the 400 free individually and swam on the 400 free relay. She now has 11 World Championship medals, and all of them were gold. Franklin had 2 silver and 3 bronze to go with her 11 titles, for 16 total medals. That’s 2nd only to Natalie Coughlin’s 20 gold medals (8 gold 7 silver, 5 bronze) in terms of total medals for women.

Of Ledecky’s 11 world titles 8 are individual. Franklin has 5 individual medals and 6 relays. Franklin still holds the record for women with 6 gold medals in one meet, which she did at the 2013 World Championships. Ledecky was still named the Swimmer of the Meet that year.

Ledecky has at least four more opportunities for medals at this year’s championships. In the 800 and 1500 free, where she’ll be a prohibitive favorite; in the 200 free, where she’s still a pretty big favorite, and the 800 free relay, where only the Chinese are, on paper, in the same league as Team USA. If she were to win all four of those events (which is very possible), then she would tie Franklin’s single-championship record. The USA has not given any indications as to who it will use on its mixed 400 free and medley relays.

Franklin isn’t racing at this year’s World Championships after undergoing double shoulder surgery. Behind Franklin and Ledecky, Katinka Hosszu ranks 3rd among active swimmers with 5 gold medals.

All-time gold medal leaders, Women, World Aquatics Championships – swimming

Name Gold Silver Bronze Total
1. United States Missy Franklin 11 2 3 16
2. United States Katie Ledecky 11 0 0 11
3. United States Natalie Coughlin 8 7 5 20
4. Australia Libby Trickett 8 3 4 15
5. East Germany Kornelia Ender 8 2 0 10
6. United States Jenny Thompson 7 5 2 14
7. Australia Leisel Jones 7 4 3 14
8. East Germany Kristin Otto 7 2 0 9
9. United States Katie Hoff 7 0 0 7
10. Australia Jessicah Schipper 5 4 1 10
11. United States Tracy Caulkins 5 2 0 7
12. Australia Jodie Henry 5 1 2 8
13. Germany Hannah Stockbauer 5 1 1 7
14. Hungary Katinka Hosszú 5 0 4 9
15. China Luo Xuejuan 5 0 2 7

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6 years ago

For the list that actually let’s small nation swimmers have a chance, Individual gold medals look like this:
1. Ledecky 8
2. Hosszu 5
2. Stockbauer 5
4. Sjostrom 4
4. Franklin 4
4. Trickett 4
4. Ender 4
4. Hoff 4
4. Luo 4
And maybe some more at 4.

That means that Ledecky, Hosszu and Sjostrom are looking to be 1-2-3 all-time when this meet is over. Maybe with as many as 11, 9 and 8 golds each. Yes that’s true, WChamps are contested more often nowadays, but most on this list are stars from this current era. They are doubling up on them.

6 years ago

I wonder if Ledecky’s coaches failed to rest her enough for Worlds. 3:58, while an astounding time, is fairly pedestrian for Ledecky. Perhaps her longer races will be better.

stanford fan
Reply to  Mikeh
6 years ago

it’s the second fastest time ever. she went a 359 in kazan, and everyone thought she was “bad” turns out she wasn’t, as she broke the 1500 wr twice, won the 200, and went a 806 in the 800.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

With all the respect due to KL, I think the American coaches have played with fire by putting her in the relay’s final. She was tired after her 400 free and Lia Neal, a real sprinter and much fresher would have been much faster. Looks like they have put her just to allow her to win another gold. And if that’s not the official reason then it was a dangerous game. USA has won but it was very close. Lia could have swum a 52 high split and the world record would have been in trouble. At olympic games that’s different because the relay is on day 1 and the 400 free is on day 2. At worlds it’s dangerous.

Jim C
6 years ago

The mixed 400 free, prelims are the only real possibility besides the basic 6.

6 years ago

Seven of eleven of Missy’s gold medals come from relays.

Reply to  Prickle
6 years ago

Exactly. As great a career as she’s had, she ‘s benefitted a great deal from relay medals, which are a guarantee for the U.S.

Reply to  MTK
6 years ago

No relay is a given and no one is predestined to win as we saw how close the 4×100 freestyle relays were earlier. With that said, Missy has contributed greatly to to relay races with her teammates. Seven relays were gold to be exact.

Reply to  MTK
6 years ago

Katie ledecky is the single most dominant female swimmer not just by the medals won but by the number of times she has broken both the world and Olympics records and the distance she always leave her opponents

6 years ago

I don’t want to take anything away from Natalie or Katie or Missy but only in the last 20ish years have they had two Worlds in a quad. It used to be a Worlds every 3 or 4 years so hard to win as many titles

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Korn
6 years ago

I was wondering why there were so few names from back in the day. Thiiiis would be why.

Reply to  Korn
6 years ago

True but their times weren’t even comparable to the times these women have.

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Braden Keith

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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