BUDAPEST, Hungary – Katie Ledecky has extended her record haul of medals from the world championships to 21, two more than any other female swimmer managed before.

All but three of them are gold.

Ledecky, 25, claimed her 18th gold at a worlds on Wednesday as the United States won the women’s 4x200 freestyle relay final, clocking the fastest split – 1:53.67 – to help the Americans triumph in a championship record 7:41.45.

Claire Weinstein, Leah Smith, Ledecky and Bella Sims finished 2.41 seconds ahead of the Australian team and 3.31 ahead of the Canadians.

“It’s awesome,” Ledecky said. “It’s so easy to get up for these relays and just not think and go. I had so much trust in these three and I think that we’re always counted out and we always deliver, so I am so proud of this group.”

Ledecky had already won gold medals in the 1,500 freestyle Monday and 400 freestyle Saturday to add to the 15 gold she had coming into the competition in Budapest.

Her 21 medals at a worlds are two more than compatriot Natalie Coughlin managed (seven gold, seven silver, five bronze) between 2001 and 2013.


Hall of Fame track owner dies

O. Bruton Smith, who emerged from North Carolina farm country and parlayed his love of motorsports into a Hall of Fame career as one of the biggest track owners and most successful promoters in auto racing, died Wednesday. He was 95. His death was announced by Speedway Motorsports, which cited natural of causes.


Arkansas tops Ole Miss at CWS

Brady Slavens’ home run to the deepest part of the park gave Arkansas the lead and the Razorbacks held on for a 3-2 win at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, after Mississippi loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Hogs (46-20) forced a second bracket final against Ole Miss (39-23) today, with the winner advancing to play Oklahoma in the best-of-three championship round starting Saturday.


Local club gets 5th for tourney

The Fort Wayne Champs were given a fifth seed in the 64-team The Basketball Tournament and will face Cincinnati-based Nasty Nati in the first round July 18-21 at Xavier in Cincinnati. The Champs will be coached by Rod Wilmont and have a roster that includes former Mad Ants player Stephan Hicks and former Bethel player Trevion Crews. There is a $1 million prize.

WNBA All-Star starters revealed

For the 11th and final time, Sue Bird will be a starter in the WNBA All-Star Game, and Breanna Stewart was chosen as an All-Star Game captain for the first time in her career. By virtue of garnering the most fan votes, Stewart and Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson will also serve as co-captains for the July 10 WNBA All-Star game in Chicago. The league also elected Bird and Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles as co-captains. .


NHL news

The Chicago Blackhawks promoted Meghan Hunter to assistant general manger, making her the third woman to currently hold that position and fourth in NHL history. …

Paul Maurice is the new coach of the Florida Panthers, agreeing on a deal to take over a club coming off a season where it had the best record in the NHL and rewrote the franchise’s record book.