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Kate Douglass becomes fastest U.S. female swimmer in history to end worlds

Kate Douglass became the fastest U.S. female swimmer in history to put the finishing touches on a uniquely versatile medal haul at the world championships.

Douglass took silver in the 50m freestyle in 23.91 seconds in Doha, breaking the American record in the shortest, quickest event in swimming.

Simone Manuel had the previous American record of 23.97 set at 2017 Worlds.

Swede Sarah Sjöström won the 50m free for her record-extending 23rd career individual world medal and 14th individual gold, two shy of Katie Ledecky’s record.


Douglass’ individual medal collection at worlds: repeat 200m individual medley gold, plus silvers in the 50m free and the 200m breaststroke (after breaking the American record in that event last month).

She became the second U.S. woman to win an individual medal in three different strokes at one worlds after Tracy Caulkins.

Caulkins did so in the IM, breaststroke and butterfly. Michael Phelps also accomplished the feat in the IM, butterfly and freestyle. Ryan Lochte did it in the IM, backstroke and freestyle. Natalie Coughlin did it at the Olympics in the IM, backstroke and freestyle.

That’s not the complete list, but it gives a sense of the company Douglass now keeps.

Also Sunday, American Hunter Armstrong earned his third consecutive medal in the 50m backstroke, a silver behind Australian Isaac Cooper. The 50m back is not an Olympic event.

The swimming season continues with a Tyr Pro Series stop in Westmont, Illinois, from March 6-9 with coverage live on Peacock.