Katie Ledecky Utterly Destroys a World Record

American crushes 1,500-meter mark by 10 seconds, beats No. 2 finisher by 40 seconds
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2022 12:15 PM CDT
Katie Ledecky Swam an Unbelievable Race
Katie Ledecky of the United States celebrates after breaking the world record in the 1500-meter freestyle at the FINA Swimming World Cup meet in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.   (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

When she finished her 1,500-meter short-course freestyle race this weekend, American Katie Ledecky had time to take off her goggles, grimace from the pain of the race, and soak in the applause of the crowd before the second-place finisher arrived—40 seconds later. As NPR reports, that's how thoroughly the 25-year-old dominated the competition at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Toronto. When all was said and done, Ledecky had broken—"obliterated" is the word used by CNN—the world record for that distance by 10 seconds with a time of 15:08.24.

"I knew that that record was in reach, just based on some things I've done in training," said Ledecky, who also holds seven Olympic gold medals, more than any female swimmer. "So I felt locked into a pace and fell off a little bit toward the end probably ... but I held it together enough to get the job done." In doing so, she broke the 2019 record set by Germany's Sarah Wellbrock. (You can watch the race here, with Ledecky's final lap starting around the 15:10 mark of the 17-minute video.)

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