Katie Ledecky wins fourth title in return meet as Simone Manuel takes 50m free

Katie Ledecky won the 800m freestyle in Texas on Saturday night for her fourth title in her first national competition in a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Her winning time of 8 minutes, 13.64 seconds at the TYR Pro Swim Series was a whopping 12.3 seconds ahead of Leah Smith, who touched in 8:25.67. Haley Anderson, who already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in open water, was third.

Ledecky also won the 200m, 400m and 1,500m freestyles over the four-day meet. She will attempt all four events in Tokyo, and likely some relays, too.

Egypt’s Marwan El Kama won the men’s 800m in 7:58.33 over Jordan Wilimovsky, who has already qualified for the Olympics in open-water competition. El Kama earlier won the 400m free.

Simone Manuel won the 50m free in 24.70 seconds, ahead of Abbey Weitzeil, who touched in 25.00.

“I would’ve liked to swim faster. I’m always going to think that,” Manuel said. “I had some goal times I wanted to hit at this meet that I didn’t hit. I haven’t been to a meet during Covid and that’s a different experience.”

Defending Olympic champion Ryan Murphy won the 100 backstroke in 53.56 seconds.

The women’s 100m back was won by Olivia Smoliga in 59.49. She defeated world-record holder Regan Smith (59.50) and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Kathleen Baker (59.57).

The men’s 50m free went to Santo Condorelli of Italy in 22.49. Nathan Adrian was second in 22.56.

Bidding to make a fifth Olympic team at age 36, Ryan Lochte finished fifth in the 200 individual medley. He was timed in 2:01.71. Michael Andrew won in 1:58.05.

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