United States' gold medal winner Katie Ledecky competes in the women's 400-meter freestyle final during the swimming competitions of the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, July 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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Katie Ledecky is off to a golden start at the world championships.The 20-year-old American star began an audacious week by winning a pair of gold medals Sunday on the opening night of swimming near the Danube River. She cruised to a dominating victory in the 400-meter freestyle and put the U.S. ahead to stay in the 4x100 free relay. Ledecky touched in 3 minutes, 58.34 seconds – more than 3 seconds ahead of U.S. teammate Leah Smith but nearly 2 sec off the world record (3:56.46) from the Olympics.About an hour later, Ledecky returned to the pool for the relay, a down-and-back sprint that is the weakest of her distances, but one that provides an opportunity to equal Missy Franklin's female record of six gold medals at the 2013 worlds.Ledecky turned in the slowest split on the American team, actually slipping to third on her 50 flip. Yang was in a league of his own in a stacked field that featured the past three Olympic champions: Horton (2016), Sun (2012) and South Korea's Park Tae-hwan (2008).
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