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Ledecky eyes 12th world title

BUDAPEST (AFP) – Katie Ledecky will shake off any fatigue in her bid to make history on Tuesday in the 1500m freestyle final by becoming the first woman to win 12 golds at world aquatic championships.

The 20-year-old freestyle expert picked up two golds on Sunday in Budapest when she won the 400m freestyle title for the third championships in a row, then helped the United States win the 4x100m relay.

Her pair of victories in Budapest left her level with Missy Franklin on 11 worlds gold.

Another win over 1500m would make her the most decorated female swimmer at world championships.

Ledecky was the fastest qualifier into Tuesday’s final at 15 minutes, 47.54 seconds – nearly 18 seconds ahead of the field – to maintain her iron grip on the event.

‘‘I work through the heats as easy as I can to keep myself rested for the finals,’’ said Ledecky.

‘‘I just stay in the team area (at the hotel), go to bed as early as I can, sleep in as late as I can and get massages.’’

Having won five worlds gold medals in Kazan two years ago, she could finish with six at these championships.

‘‘I just try to put together the best races as possible and let the medals take care of themselves,’’ she said.

‘‘As many as I get,’’ she added, when asked how many golds she wants.

Ledecky will attack her own 1500m world record at the Duna Arena, which she set two years ago when she won the 2015 final in 15:25.48 minutes.

‘‘I just go out and race as hard as I can, I never really target a record,’’ she said.

The women’s 100m breaststroke final on Tuesday brings the climax to a simmering feud between Olympic champion Lilly King and defending world champion Yuliya Efimova of Russia.

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