8 Memorable World Aquatics Championships Performances For Team USA

by Paul D. Bowker

Katie Ledecky competes during the women's 800-meter freestyle final at the 2022 FINA World Championships on June 24, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.


The U.S. won a record 45 swimming medals at the 2022 FINA World Championships that just wrapped up in Budapest, Hungary. The total beat the previous U.S. record of 38 at the 2017 worlds. 

Australia, the next best country, won 17 medals. 

The U.S. won 18 gold medals, including four by Katie Ledecky. No other country won more than six swimming golds. 

Add in a fourth consecutive world championship by the U.S. women’s water polo team and three diving medals, and Team USA athletes won 49 medals over five aquatic disciplines, beating runner-up China by 21. 

The world championships, held June 17 through July 3, produced a number of unforgettable moments for the U.S. Here are 8 of them. 

Seven-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky added to her perfection in Budapest. 
Ledecky won gold medals in all four of her finals, including the 800-meter freestyle in which she won a fifth consecutive title in that event. She is the first to win the same event in five consecutive world championships. She has also won the 800 freestyle in the last three Olympic Games. 
Ledecky also won gold in the 400 and 1,500 freestyles, as well as the 4x200 free relay, where she swam as the third leg. 
The 25-year-old’s 19 world titles are the most of any women’s swimmer and ranks second all time behind only Michael Phelps’ record of 26. She has 22 world championship medals overall since making her debut in 2013. 

Torri Huske Rings In Six Medals 

Olympic silver medalist Torri Huske joined rare company by winning six medals. 
Only three other American women have ever won six or more medals at one world championships: Missy Franklin (2013), Katie Ledecky (2017) and Simone Manuel (2017 and 2019).  
Huske won gold medals in the 100 butterfly, 4x100 medley relay and mixed 4x100 medley relay. The 19-year-old won bronze medals in the 100 free, 4x100 free relay and mixed 4x100 free relay. 

Katie Grimes competes during the women's open water 10-kilometer at the 2022 FINA World Championships on June 29, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.


Katie Grimes, a 16-year-old who last year in Tokyo became the youngest U.S. Olympic swimmer since Amanda Beard at age 14 in 1996, captured silver medals in the 1,500 freestyle and 400 medley.  
In the women’s 1,500 free, it was Katie and Katie who finished one-two. Ledecky won the event with Grimes 14.74 seconds behind her in second place. 
“She’s got such a bright future ahead of her,” Ledecky said of Grimes. 
Grimes also jumped out of the pool and finished fifth in the open water 10K, posting the second-best finish by an American woman. Only three-time Olympian Haley Anderson has ever done better, winning a silver medal in the 2019 FINA World Championships. 

The U.S. women’s water polo team won its fourth straight world title on Saturday, extending a domination of the sport that has included seven world championships and three Olympic titles since 2003.  
Maddie Musselman, a two-time Olympian, scored five goals and was named game MVP in a 9-7 win over Hungary in the world title game. Ryann Neushul added three goals. 
The U.S. won all six matches at the world championships, outscoring its opponents by a combined 94-33. 
Ashleigh Johnson, a two-time Olympian, was named Top Goalkeeper of the tournament. 

Two-time Olympian Katrina Young was happy to get the call. 
When Tarrin Gilliland withdrew from the competition due to an injury, Young was contacted to see if she could dive with 2020 Olympian Delaney Schnell in the women’s 10-meter synchronized event. Young said yes, the two practiced for a few weeks and then they won a silver medal in Budapest. 
“It was incredible,” said Young, who won her third world championships medal but first silver. “It was a pretty last-minute change. It was a lot of stress going into the event, but it worked out.” 
Schnell, who won a silver medal with Jessica Parratto in the same event in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, also won a world bronze medal with Carson Tyler in the mixed synchro 10-meter.  
Schnell and Young rallied from an eighth-place spot in the standings after the second round of the finals and beat out Malaysia’s Pandelela Pamg and Nur Dhabitah Sadri by 0.72 points for second place. Schnell and Young scored 299.40 points.

Ryan Murphy celebrates after winning the men's 200-meter backstroke final at the 2022 FINA World Championships on June 23, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.


Ryan Murphy, a two-time Olympian who has won six Olympic medals, won the 200 backstroke  for his first individual world title . 
“This is what I work for,” Murphy said. “Every day I wake up with a sense of urgency. I’m trying my best; I’m giving it everything I’ve got, and I’ve got really great people around me.” 
Murphy won the 200 back in his Olympic debut in 2016 and finished second in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 
He also won two silvers Budapest in the 100 backstroke and men’s 4x100 medley relay and swam in the prelims of the mixed 4x100 medley, which the U.S. eventually won. 

Sarah Bacon captured her second consecutive world silver medal in the women’s 1-meter springboard event. Bacon overtook Canada’s Mia Vallee for second place, scoring in the 7s on her front 2.5 somersaults pike. 
“Mia and I have been diving alongside each other basically all year throughout the NCAA season,” Bacon said. “I knew it was going to be a tough battle, but I pulled through in the end and hit my last dive.” 

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke charged from behind to overtake two Olympic medalists in the 800 free to not only win but to set an American record. 
Finke won the event with a time of 7 minutes, 39.36 seconds, breaking an American record he had set in Tokyo. He covered the final 50 meters in 25.93 seconds.  
“Coming off of Tokyo and just my expectations for myself,” he said, “this one means a little bit more.” 
The win in Budapest was Finke’s first world title. He won a silver medal in the 1,500 freestyle, where he also set an American record.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. Hes is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.