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Teen Sensation Katie Ledecky Shines at World Swimming Championship

Teen Sensation Katie Ledecky Shines at World Swimming Championship

Ledecky wins 800m with World Record

August 3rd, 2013, Barcelona, Spain, FINA World Championship, Swimming Championship, In the Women’s 800m Freestyle, the Olympic champ, 16 year old Katie Ledecky (USA) gets the win with a World Record (after setting the 1500m record earlier) at 8:13.86, .24 seconds better.

The women’s 800m freestyle was Ledecky’s fourth race of the meet. She also swam the 400m free, 1500m free and 800m free relay earlier in the week, winning gold in each and setting a world record in the 1500m free and an American record in the 400m free.

In the 800m free, Ledecky trailed Lotte Friis of Denmark by as much as a body length, but started gaining ground at the 600-meter mark. Ledecky took the the lead at 650 meters, and was twelve-hundredths ahead of world-record pace with 100 meters to go.

She finished about two and a half seconds ahead of Friis, who touched in 8:16.32. Lauren Boyle of New Zealand was third in 8:18.58. American Chloe Sutton, who has competed with Ledecky in each of Ledecky’s three individual races, was sixth in 8:27.75.

“It doesn’t really matter what’s going on in the middle of the race,” Ledecky said. “It’s all about getting your hand on the wall first. My coach really wanted me to push the last 200, and I just stayed patient throughout the race like I did the other day (in the 1500), and made my move where I had to.”

The U.S. has medaled in 14 of 15 World Championships in this event. The last American to win gold was Kate Zeigler in 2007.

“It’s good to finish off on a great note,” Ledecky said. “I exceeded all expectations I had going into this meet and met all my goals, and I’m really happy right now.”

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LEDECKY SHATTERS WORLD RECORD IN BARCELONA

BARCELONA – 16-year-old Katie Ledecky won gold and set a world record in the women’s 1500m freestyle Tuesday at the 15th FINA World Championships, turning in a time of 15:36.53.

Ledecky and Lotte Friis of Denmark quickly separated themselves from the pack in the women’s 1500m freestyle and were about four or five seconds ahead of world record pace the whole way.

Friis held a slight lead over Ledecky through the 1300-meter mark, when Ledecky pulled ahead. The two were neck-and-neck over the next 100 meters, before Ledecky surged ahead for good. Friis finished second about two seconds behind in 15:38.88, followed by Lauren Boyle of New Zealand in 15:44.71. American Chloe Sutton finished eighth in 16:09.65.

“The main goal was just to come out on top,” Ledecky said. “I knew we were going pretty fast, and I figured whoever was going to come out on top was going to get the world record. I had to be careful not to push it too early, not to push it too late, and just touch the wall first. Around the last 200, I knew I could take off.”

Both Ledecky and Friis finished ahead of the former world record time of 15:42.54, set by American Kate Ziegler in 2007. All three medalists swam faster than the former meet record of 15:44.93, set by Alessia Filippi of Italy at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.

“(The world record) means the world to me,” Ledecky said. “Kate Ziegler, who had the world record, is from my area (back home). I’ve looked up to her my whole life, and I really honored to break that world record and to keep it in Potomac Valley.”

More Ledecky news…

BARCELONA, Spain – Fresh off her win and American record in the 400m freestyle on the first night of competition, Katie Ledecky returns to the pool tonight as the second seed in the women’s 1500m freestyle (15:49.26). Competing in just her second major international competition, Ledecky is undefeated on the world stage, winning the 800m free in American-record time at last year’s Olympic Games and doing the same thing in the 400m free on Sunday. This is the second of three events in which she will be competing this week. She will also race the 800m free on Saturday.

Teammate Chloe Sutton is the seventh seed in 16:04.72. Sutton is a two-time Olympian and is competing in her third long course World Championships. She finished 10th in the 400m free on Sunday.

FINA Swimming World Championships, 16 year old Olympic champion Katie Ledecky finished with a record time of 3:59.82. Ledecky finished nearly 3 seconds faster than 2nd place Costa.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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