Simone Manuel Becomes 1st Woman to Win 7 Medals in Single World Championships

2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

After becoming the first American woman in history to sweep the 50 and 100 free at a World Championships Sunday, and then anchoring world record on the women’s 4×100 medley relay, Simone Manuel completed the most decorated performance by a woman in long course Worlds history.

Manuel won four golds and three silvers throughout the week. In addition to the free sprint wins and women’s medley relay, she was on the winning mixed 4×100 medley relay, then took silver on the women’s 4×200 free relay and 4×100 free relay, and mixed 4×100 free relay.

Manuel shared the previous record of six medals (she did it in 2017) with seven other women: Shirley Babashoff (1975), Tracy Caulkins (1978), Mary T. Meagher (1986), Kristin Otto (1986), Missy Franklin (2013), Katie Ledecky (2017), and Emma McKeon (2017).

With Sunday’s relay finish, Manuel ties Missy Franklin in medal count (16) and now trails only Katie Ledecky in medal caliber, but American Natalie Coughlin and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom are also ahead of her in overall count with 20 and 17, respectively.

Note that the two mixed relays were not introduced to the Worlds event lineup until 2015, so Manuel had two extra medal opportunities compared to record-holders in the past. American Caeleb Dressel set the overall single-meet medals record at 8 on Sunday, as well.

All-Time Worlds Medalists – Women:

Rank Swimmer Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Katie Ledecky United States 15 3 18
2 Simone Manuel United States 11 3 2 16
3 Missy Franklin United States 11 2 3 16
4 Katinka Hosszu Hungary 9 1 5 15
5 Natalie Coughlin United States 8 7 5 20
6 Sarah Sjostrom Sweden 8 6 3 17
7 Libby Trickett Australia 8 3 4 15
8 Kornelia Ender East Germany 8 2 10
9 Jenny Thompson United States 7 5 2 14
10 Leisel Jones Australia 7 4 3 14

Manuel is not among the top-10 women in history in individual medal count alone. Sjostrom leads the way with 16, Hosszu and Yuliya Efimova each have 15, and Ledecky is third with 13. Manuel has four individual medals in all.

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Nswim
2 years ago

Manuel or Smith should’ve been swimmer of the meet . Three world records from smith, that’s incredible

AvidSwimFan
Reply to  Nswim
2 years ago

Who won it?

Sccoach
Reply to  AvidSwimFan
2 years ago

Sjöström

fmku
Reply to  Nswim
2 years ago

Why? King and Hosszu also won 2 golds each. Sjöström won 5 medals (which I think is a record among women, and that didn’t even get a swimswam article)

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  fmku
2 years ago

What’s the point system?

Gold
Silver
Bronze
Championship Record
World Record

Jim C
Reply to  fmku
2 years ago

Swimswam predicted 3 golds and 2 silvers. If her fans thought this was unrealistic, and that they would be thrilled if she wound up with a gold, 2 silvers, and 2 bronzes I must have missed the comments. Last worlds when Ledecky won 3 individual golds and a silver, it was considered a disappointing meet for Ledecky. In a similar way this was a disappointing meet for Sjostrom, worse than the meet Ledecky had two years ago.

Ben
Reply to  Nswim
2 years ago

They generally consider individual performances over total medal count. Manuel only won two individual medals. Sjostrom won 5. I’m not saying that’s how it should be – I’m just saying that’s how it currently is.

Swim girl
Reply to  Ben
2 years ago

And I’m saying that is a 100 % how it should be

m d e
Reply to  Swim girl
2 years ago

Imagine thinking individual awards should be decided by relay medals.

Jim C
Reply to  m d e
2 years ago

Imagine individual awards where the winner of only one race comes out ahead of swimmers who won two races because points are given to individuals for losing races…

Swim girl
Reply to  Jim C
2 years ago

Imagine thinking that winning silver and bronze should be considered losing and isn’t worth counting for an individual award, and imagine thinking being top 3 in 5 events isn’t good enough to deserve swimmer of the meet.

Jim C
Reply to  Swim girl
2 years ago

Imagine thinking Ledecky lost the 400 free to Titmus when what she actually did was win the silver medal.

Jim C
Reply to  Ben
2 years ago

But in the listing of medals, you are higher on the list if you have more gold medals. Silvers are only considered if there is a tie in the number of golds, and bronzes only if there is a tie in both golds and silvers. So with two golds each both Manuel and Hosszu rank ahead off Sjostrom with only one.

JimSwim22
2 years ago

What’s the count on individual medals?

Boomer
2 years ago

not really fair to compare considering 5 out of 7 of her medals from this meet are from relays

Breezeway
Reply to  Boomer
2 years ago

Aussies have the same replay opportunities

Breezeway
Reply to  Breezeway
2 years ago

correction.. relay opportunities

DooPiddley
Reply to  Boomer
2 years ago

Agree she was at right place at right time

TXSWIMDAD
Reply to  DooPiddley
2 years ago

And swam fast enough to earn all the relay spots (in addition to her individual sprint double). It’s not like she won the lottery or something

Wondering
Reply to  DooPiddley
2 years ago

Yea, atop the podium in the 50 and the 100 freestyles. Head-to-head against Sarah and Cate

Tomek
2 years ago

Great meet for Manuel but skipping Regan while she high-five other relay teammates was not something I expected to see from a veteran

Breezeway
Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

overreaction! it wasn’t intentional. they’ve been hanging out all week plus watching the swimming together.

SD3914
Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

She didn’t “skip” anyone. She was clearly caught up in the moment. You’re looking to find fault with her. Doesn’t reflect well on you.

E Gamble
Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

Considering Manuel was exausted…I think she gets a pass. That’s just silly. Manuel is a class act and would never not shake a teammates hand after a race intentially. Have another glass of hater-aide. Lol

Jim C
Reply to  E Gamble
2 years ago

Manuel did not intentionally slight an American swimmer who was a Stanford recruit and had just taken a World record away from a California Golden Bear.

Swimmerdude
Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

Noticed it too. Perhaps it was unintentional. Still felt bad for Regan though.

jem
Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

There were truly fine people on both sides of that high five

Aigues
2 years ago

There are too many relays in WC now. Any american/australian swimmer is almost guaranteed 5 medals…

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Aigues
2 years ago

The mixed relays were added in 2015. However, I agree with your premise.

Wondering
Reply to  Aigues
2 years ago

Well, not Shayna Jack….

Jim C
Reply to  Aigues
2 years ago

Tell that to Regan Smith. She would almost certainly won more than two medals if she had swum for any country besides the US.

Wahooswimfan
2 years ago

Manual should try her hand at sprint butterfly – seems like a lot of good sprint free swimmmers are also good sprint fly swimmers.

SwimJon
2 years ago

And there you have it. The benefit of the relays. Five of them were relays. All really well earned medals no doubt at all. But if Sarah had been american.. Guess she could have taken ten

Wondering
Reply to  SwimJon
2 years ago

Except Simone still would have beaten her in the 50 and 100 free finals….

TXSWIMDAD
Reply to  SwimJon
2 years ago

No, then she would have had to make some harder decisions about what events to swim and what to cut from the schedule

m d e
Reply to  TXSWIMDAD
2 years ago

She would be the top 2 americans in all 5 of her individual events.

She swam multiple relays for Sweden they just don’t win medals.

She could probably add one 100m swim to her program and win 10 total medals.

Jim C
Reply to  m d e
2 years ago

If Sjostrom had been an American, her prelim swim in the medley relay was so bad she would have been replaced in the final.

Swim girl
Reply to  Jim C
2 years ago

If Sarah had been American, she wouldn’t have had to swim in the prelims of any relays and would’ve been able to rest for the finals.

Snarky
Reply to  SwimJon
2 years ago

But she’s not so she didn’t.

AvidSwimFan
2 years ago

Way to go Simone!!!

Anonymous
Reply to  AvidSwimFan
2 years ago

Loved loved loved her lane 1 win. Amazing!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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