How Fast Will Katie Ledecky Swim at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials?

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

Olympic and World Champion distance swimming icon Katie Ledecky swam well at the San Antonio Pro Swim, but she was her own biggest critic unpacking her swims in the post race interviews.  I thought Ledecky looked great considering she hasn’t really traveled and competed in a year.  Suiting up at home and running an elite meet schedule isn’t the same experience.  I think Ledecky knocked off some rust in San Antonio. What do you think?  If you missed the meet coverage, see her times:

Ledecky – 2021 San Antonio Pro Swim

  • 1500 free – 15:42.92
  • 800 free – 8:13.64
  • 400 free – 4:04.72
  • 200 free – 1:56.62

For reference, see Ledecky’s 2020 Des Moines Pro Swim Times:

  • 1500 – 15:29.51
  • 400 – 3:59.66
  • 200 – 1:54.59

U.S. Olympic Trials Predictions?

Ledecky will swim fast, but not as fast as she will at the 2021 Olympic Games.  At U.S. Olympic Trials I see a 1:54.5 200 free,  3:59.1 400 free,  8:09  800 free, and a 15:29 1500 free.  I might be playing it a little too safe, but I don’t see a reason for her to swim faster when making Team USA  is all that’s needed.  Still, those would be solid swims in June for Ledecky, but the big question is will she swim the 100 free? I don’t know. I haven’t asked her, but I don’t think so. It’s been a weird year battling the pandemic. I think Ledeckey stays focused on her core schedule at U.S. Olympic Trials.  But who cares what I think?  I want to know what you think? Give me your best expert swimming analysis.

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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PhillyMark
10 months ago

I’d be pleased if she matches her des Moines times @ OT’s, which correspond to GMM’s predictions nicely

PhillyMark
Reply to  PhillyMark
10 months ago

PS My phone autocorrected ‘GMM’s’ to ‘GOD’S’ fyi

Sun Yangs Hammer
Reply to  PhillyMark
10 months ago

What’s the difference

GMM
Reply to  PhillyMark
10 months ago

😂😂😂

Swammer
10 months ago

Katie, we don’t deserve you

GMM
Reply to  Swammer
10 months ago

Right? We don’t. Ledecky just delivers again and again.

Pete
Reply to  GMM
10 months ago

It’s easy to forget she has been doing this for a solid decade now. No years off. Incredible dedication in a grueling endeavor.

Khachaturian
10 months ago

200 free I am hoping for a 1:54 low

Mr Piano
10 months ago

Wow those are actually realistic predictions! Mel is getting better at this.

GMM
Reply to  Mr Piano
10 months ago

Stop it. “60% of time I’m right every time.” (Name that movie….)

PVSFree
Reply to  GMM
10 months ago

Anchorman, easy

GMM
Reply to  PVSFree
10 months ago

#winner

Samuel Huntington
10 months ago

The 400 was a little slow but her other events looked fine at San Antonio.
Mel I think her 400 will be a little faster at Trials. Otherwise I agree.

GMM
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
10 months ago

…your lips to God’s ears!

GMM
10 months ago

…you know, I normally ask Braden his thoughts. I haven’t. I will now…

Lpman
10 months ago

I’m sure this will be frowned upon, but I think we have seen Ledecky peak in 2016. I do not say that to ruffle feathers, just an observation. With that said, she is still in a league of her own even if she doesn’t approach 2016 times. Still think she is looking at gold in 400 and up as well as a front runner in 200 free. I think she easily gets a spot on 4 x 200 and maybe 4 x 100. I think she is looking at a potential 6 medals, at least 4 of which are gold.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Lpman
10 months ago

I don’t disagree. It’s ridiculously hard to improve in grueling distance events year after year or even to maintain. Historically, distance stars have plateaued at much younger ages that sprinters, so it makes sense that 2016 may have been her peak. Regardless, she is one of, if not the, greatest swimmer(s) in history.

Lpman
Reply to  DMSWIM
10 months ago

I agree 100%, and I would be ecstatic if I am wrong

Mr Piano
Reply to  Lpman
10 months ago

Nothing wrong with that. Swimmers peak at some point in their career. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dressel peaks this year. Female distance swimmers tend to peak a lot younger as well, and Ledecky is currently enjoying more success than anyone like Janet Evans did at her age. Good think is that she’s so good already that even at 80 percent she can still win gold medals.

Last edited 10 months ago by Mr Piano
GMM
Reply to  Lpman
10 months ago

I don’t think so. Distance stars build base into their 30s. Ledecky will likely re-break one of her WRs in 400 800 or 1500. Depending on training, one of those races will pop for her. Will she crush all events? No. BUT, I think she’ll PB in at least one of them.

Taa
10 months ago

Mel’s times are spot on give or take half a second. I think she is not going to be on the 4×100 though that 54 high she just did was encouraging. I think a 54.2 unrested and she has a case to be on the relay but I don’t think you can bump someone who swims a 53.5 flat start. If that 4th spot only goes a 53.2 or 3 flying start in the morning then there would be a decision to be made.

GMM
Reply to  Taa
10 months ago

….interesting….

AnEn
Reply to  Taa
10 months ago

1) How can you say that they are spot and when she hasn’t even swum yet?
2) Do you seriously think that anyone here can even predict down to 2 or 3 seconds what time Ledecky will swim in the 1500 free? It is ok to be confident in your predict, but i very much doubt that even after prelims anyone here will be able to tell whether she is in 15:29 or 15:32 shape.

Troyy
Reply to  AnEn
10 months ago

You’re so annoying.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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