Kelsi Worrell scored a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter butterfly Wednesday against a talented field, leading a three-medal performance by U.S. swimmers at the FINA world cup event in Tokyo.
Joining Worrell on the podium were Josh Prenot in the men’s 200-meter individual medley and Brooke Forde in the women’s 400-meter IM. Both took bronze.
Among Worrell’s competition was four-time Olympian Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark, three-time Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Japanese-record holder in the event Rikako Ikee. Although Ottesen led the field at the turn, Worrell was able to surge to the front to win in a time of 55.84 seconds. Ottesen touched second in 55.91, followed by Hosszu at 56.02. Ikee finished fourth, setting a junior world record with her time of 56.42, ahead of fifth-place American Eva Merrell at 58.07.
The gold is Worrell’s second medal in four days after she won a silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly in Singapore in the first world cup meet of her career. Worrell finished fourth in the 50 in Tokyo.
The reigning Pan American Games champion in the 100 fly, Worrell won the event at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials but was unable to advance to the final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Prenot, the American-record holder in the men’s 200-meter individual medley, won bronze in that race in Tokyo with a time of 1:53.85. The Olympic silver medalist in Rio two months ago, he finished 1.47 seconds behind Daiya Seto of Japan, whose 1:52.38 earned gold. Germany’s Philip Heintz claimed the silver in 1:53.04.
Forde scored her podium finish with a time of 4:31.40, more than nine seconds faster than her previous best of 4:40.98. She was 2.94 seconds off the pace set by Hosszu, who touched in 4:28.46. Japan’s Yui Ohhashi took the silver in 4:30.27. A high school senior who recently made a verbal commitment to Stanford University, she is expected to add depth to a Cardinal team that includes Olympic champions Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel.