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American superstar Katie Ledecky suffers her first major loss in thrilling worlds final

World record holder Federica Pellegrini pulled off a late, late comeback in the 200m freestyle final.

Source: FINA/YouTube

KATIE LEDECKY SUFFERED her first individual loss at a major international meet on Wednesday at the hands of Italy’s Federica Pellegrini.

Ledecky entered the world championship 200m freestyle final as the favourite, as she had won 13 of 13 finals in this event during international competitions in her career.

In the first 100m of the final, Australia’s Emma McKeon raced out into the lead, followed by Ledecky. However, as she is wont to do, in the third and fourth laps, Ledecky began surging ahead, gaining momentum as the race went on.

In the last 50m, it appeared as though the winner would be Ledecky or McKeon, when suddenly, Pellegrini came out of nowhere in lane six.

Over the final 25m, Pellegrini looked well behind, and the announcers were solely focused on Ledecky and McKeon.

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However, when Pellegrini pulled even with Ledecky and McKeon, the announcers lost it. “Pellegrini’s coming!” shouted Rowdy Gaines.

Finally, Pellegrini out-touched Ledecky and McKeon with a time of 1:54.73. McKeon and Ledecky tied for silver at 1:55.18.

Afterwards, Pellegrini, who is the world-record holder in the event, let out an animated celebration.

Surprisingly, Pellegrini’s finishing time was actually .04 seconds slower than Ledecky’s winning time in the semifinals. Ledecky said after the race that she didn’t feel like herself and was “scrambling” later on.

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