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Kate Douglass wins Olympic Trials preview at first swim meet of 2024

Douglass wins 100m freestyle in Knoxville
American Kate Douglass holds off a strong field to claim victory in the women's 100-meter freestyle final at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Knoxville.

Kate Douglass won the 100m freestyle from a field that included the four fastest Americans from 2023 to open the Olympic year at a Tyr Pro Swim Series stop in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Douglass, the reigning national champion in the event, clocked 53.12 seconds, which was 52 hundredths ahead of former Virginia teammate Gretchen Walsh.

The field also included co-2016 Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel (third in 53.73), Torri Huske (53.82) and Abbey Weitzeil (54.00).

In 2023, Douglass was the fastest American in the event (52.57), followed by Weitzeil (52.92), Walsh (53.14) and Huske (53.17).

SWIMMING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

At June’s Olympic Trials, the top two will make the team for Paris individually, and likely the top six for 4x100m free relay purposes.

Douglass is arguably the world’s most versatile swimmer. She backed that up Thursday by racing the 100m breaststroke final 16 minutes after the 100m free and placing fourth in a personal-best time.

“100m free was kind of the focus in warm-ups going into tonight, and I was very happy with that,” she said, according to USA Swimming. “100m breast was a best time, so you can’t complain about that.”

Douglass, the 2023 World champion in the 200m individual medley, is scheduled to race five individual events at next month’s world championships in Doha.

Also Thursday, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Lilly King won the 100m breast in 1:05.67, her best time ever in a winter meet. Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Lydia Jacoby was third in 1:06.62 behind Mona McSharry of Ireland.

In the 400m free, Katie Ledecky extended an 11-year win streak over fellow Americans.

“I love the 800m and the 1500m. I mean, I think those are my main focuses, but I really care about the 400m, still, too, and getting up for the 200m and throwing down on that (4x200m free) relay,” she said on Peacock.

The meet continues Friday with finals at 6 p.m. ET live on Peacock.

King flies to victory in the 100m breaststroke
Lilly King beats a star-studded field to win the women's 100m breaststroke in Knoxville.