Botswana's Isaac Makwala after the 400 semis // Getty Images

Botswana's Isaac Makwala after the 400 semis // Getty Images

Track and field

Red, white and maybe feeling blue?

BEIJING — Coming into these 2015 track and field world championships, it looked for — and to —  all the world like this could be the meet when the American team finally reached that elusive 30-total medal count.

With the meet now at its (just-past) halfway point, that looks exceedingly unlikely. The question now is more fundamental: is this 2015 performance a blip or a precursor for next year’s Rio 2016 Summer Games and, indeed, beyond?

David Plummer in the heats of the 50 backstroke // Getty Images

David Plummer in the heats of the 50 backstroke // Getty Images

Swimming

U.S. Kazan 2015 mantra: ‘are defeats necessary?’

KAZAN, Russia — David Plummer is a championship backstroker. Here, he served as a captain of the U.S. team. Two years ago, at the world championships in Barcelona, Plummer earned silver in the 100 back. Here, though, he managed only a ninth-place finish, not even good enough to make the finals, ultimately won by Australia’s Mitchell Larkin.

As the 2015 world championships drew Sunday to a close, Plummer turned to Twitter, and some philosophy from the Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho:

Katie Ledecky realizing she has broken the 800 free world record // Getty Images

Katie Ledecky realizing she has broken the 800 free world record // Getty Images

Swimming

Ledecky’s epic: 5 finals, 5 golds, 3 world records

KAZAN, Russia — In keeping with the Led Zeppelin selection that blared out from the PA system before the start of the finals here at Kazan Arena, the next-to-last night of the 2015 world championships, Saturday’s racing made for another edition for the U.S. swim team of Good Times Bad Times.

Heading toward Rio 2016, the question: is this Dazed and Confused U.S. team ready for prime time?