Phelps, Ledecky, Franklin and DiRado easily into Monday’s semifinals

Phelps, Ledecky, Franklin and DiRado easily into Monday's semifinals

Maya DiRado

Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, both already owners of Rio Olympics gold medals, safely advanced to the semifinals in the 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle, respectively, after racing in the preliminary heats Monday afternoon.

Ledecky moves into the 200m freestyle semifinals in first place after racing to one minute, 55.01 seconds; that swim comes about 14 hours after she set the 400m freestyle world record en route to picking up her first individual gold of the Rio Olympics. This afternoon, Ledecky plans on getting her rest.

“I’m gonna take a really long nap, like two hours at least,” Ledecky told Michele Tafoya in a poolside interview.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who also set a world record and won gold Sunday night in the 100m butterfly, advanced into the semifinals in third place with her time of 1:56.11.

Missy Franklin advanced in 12th place. At the 2012 Olympics, Franklin missed landing on the podium in the 200m freestyle by 0.01 seconds. Also advancing is world record holder Federica Pellegrini of Italy, who clocked 1:56.37.

Michael Phelps moved into the 200m butterfly semifinal in fifth place, stopping the clock at 1:55.73. After winning his first Rio Olympic gold medal Monday night in the 4x100m freestyle relay – he said it was the fastest 100m freestyle he’d ever swum in his life – Phelps told Tafoya he finally got to bed around 3:00 a.m. local time.

Fellow American Tom Shields finished with a time of 1:56.93 and did not make the semifinals.

Chad le Clos of South Africa, who beat Phelps for gold in this event in 2012, will join Phelps in the same semifinal heat after posting 1:55.75. Another in the hunt for gold is Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who raced to 1:55.14 and is the 2015 world champion in this event.

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, known as the “Iron Lady,” cranked out an Olympic record in the 200m individual medley: 2:07.45. While it was about a second off her world record 2:06.12 from the 2015 World Championships, it was fast enough for her to move into the semifinals with the top time.

Saturday night, Hosszu opened her program with a gold medal-winning, world record 400m IM swim. During Monday night’s session, Hosszu will contest the 100m backstroke final (where she is ranked No. 2 in the field) and the 200m IM semifinal about an hour later.

Also in the 200m IM semifinal will be both Americans in the event, Melanie Margalis and Maya DiRado, in third and fourth place, respectively. DiRado earned the silver medal behind Hosszu in Saturday’s 400m IM, but has already announced that the Rio, where she is making her Olympic debut, will be her last Games.

China’s Ye Shiwen, who swept both medleys at the 2012 Games but had struggled to contend with the world’s best since, advanced to the 200m IM semifinals in seventh place.

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