Simone Manuel Becomes 1st Woman to Win 7 Medals in Single World 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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Manuel or Smith should’ve been swimmer of the meet . Three world records from smith, that’s incredible


Who won it?




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)


What’s the point system?

Championship Record
World Record

Jim C

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.


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

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

m d e

Imagine thinking individual awards should be decided by relay medals.

Jim C

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

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

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

Jim C

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.


What’s the count on individual medals?


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


Aussies have the same replay opportunities


correction.. relay opportunities


Agree she was at right place at right time


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


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

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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