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Women's freestyle swimming gold decided in Rio

Ledecky wins third medal

(Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky won her third medal of the Rio Olympics on Tuesday night, taking home gold in the 200-meter freestyle final.

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden won silver, with Emma McKeon of Australia winning bronze.

Ledecky had the fastest time in preliminary heats, but was narrowly edged out in her semifinal heat by Sjostrom, who posted a time of 1:54.65 to beat Ledecky by 0.16 seconds and leave her as the second fastest in the semis.

Ledecky has been on a mission in Rio, first helping the U.S. to silver in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay on Saturday and then doing Sunday what she does best: break records.

In her preliminary heat for the 400m freestyle she broke Camille Muffat's Olympic record, set four years ago in London, by more than two seconds with a time of 3:58.71. Later that night she shattered her own record, setting a new world record in the process, by winning gold with a time of 3:56.46.

She is also the current world record holder in the 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle events.

The 19-year-old Washington, D.C., native amazed in her international debut four years ago at the 2012 London Games, winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle.

She he could end up with five medals at the Rio Games, which would be a first for an American female Olympic swimmer. She's favored in the 800-meter freestyle event and will also swim as part of the gold medal favorite 4x200-meter freestyle relay team.

Missy Franklin, who won five medals, including four gold, in her Olympic debut at age 17 at the 2012 London Games, moved on from the prelims on Monday, but finished eighth out of eight swimmers in her semifinal and missed the final.

Franklin will still swim in the 200m backstroke and 4x200m freestyle relay later this week.