In First Race as a Pro, Katie Ledecky Breaks 1500 Free WR – 15:20.48

2018 TYR PRO SWIM SERIES – INDIANAPOLIS

It didn’t take long. In the very first race of Katie Ledecky‘s professional career, she has broken her own world record in the 1500 free.

Taking a full five seconds off of her old mark and racing at the 2018 Pro Swim Series in Indy, Ledecky charged to a 15:20.48, finishing almost fifty seconds ahead of 2nd place’s Erica Sullivan (16:09.88). This is the first best time in long course in this event for Ledecky in three years– her previous best, which also stood as the previous world record, was a 15:25.48 from the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia. That’s a clean five full seconds off of the old mark.

SPLITS

28.09
30.41
30.76
200 split 2:00.25 30.99
30.86
31.39
31.21
400 split 4:04.88 31.17
30.98
30.96
30.70
30.77
30.99
30.85
30.75
800 split 8:11.70 30.82
30.82
30.68
30.76
1000 split 10:14.83 30.87
30.60
30.72
30.90
30.89
30.68
30.81
30.84
30.44
30.55
Final time 15:20.48 29.22

In Budapest, Ledecky was a disappointing 8:12.68 — she split faster than that in her race today by almost a full second. Additionally, after (relatively speaking) cruising the 400, she never went above 31.0 again, showcasing her remarkable pacing abilities and immense grit.

This was Ledecky’s first official swim as a professional athlete after she announced in March she’d be foregoing her remaining two seasons of NCAA eligibility. Ledecky raced for the Stanford Cardinal the last two seasons, dominating the distance events in the collegiate world. That said, Ledecky was unable to produce best times last summer at the 2017 World Championships, and she started to fall off of her mark in yards this season, too.

In less than two months since the 2018 NCAAs, however, it’s as if she’s a teenager again, going big lifetime bests with every swim.

Ledecky is now a full eighteen (18) seconds faster than anyone else in history– the next best performer, ever, is Denmark’s Lotte Friis, who went a 15:38.88 in 2013. That time actually came during a tight race with Ledecky, who was then just 16, at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. Ledecky won gold there with a 15:36.53, which was a WR at the time.

Ledecky, 21 years old, now holds the eight fastest times in this event in history.

TOP PERFORMANCES OF ALL TIME – WOMEN’S 1500 FREE

  1. Katie Ledecky – 15:20.48 (2018)
  2. Katie Ledecky – 15:25.48 (2015)
  3. Katie Ledecky – 15:27.71 (2015)
  4. Katie Ledecky – 15:28.36 (2014)
  5. Katie Ledecky – 15:31.82 (2017)
  6. Katie Ledecky – 15:34.23 (2014)
  7. Katie Ledecky – 15:35.65 (2017)
  8. Katie Ledecky – 15:36.53 (2013)

TOP PERFORMERS OF ALL TIME – WOMEN’S 1500 FREE

  1. Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:20.48 (2018)
  2. Lotte Friis (DEN) – 15:38.88 (2013)
  3. Lauren Boyle (NZL) – 15:40.14 (2015)
  4. Kate Ziegler (USA) – 15:42.54 (2007)
  5. Alessia Filippi (ITA) – 15:44.93 (2009)
  6. Boglarka Kapas (HUN) – 15:47.09 (2015)
  7. Jazmin Carlin (GBR) – 15:47.26 (2013)
  8. Mireia Belmonte (ESP) – 15:50.89 (2017)

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brian schafer
4 years ago

great effort

phelps swims 200 breast rio
4 years ago

Comparing her recent 15:20 to the men’s Olympic 1500 finals, she would have won gold in 1968 and 1972. She would have placed 4th in 76, 5th in 80, 5th in 84, 7th in 88, 8th in 92, and 8th in 96. In 2000, she would have just missed out as 15:19 placed 8th.

bobo gigi
4 years ago

I’m speechless. Never saw that happen right now. In May. Totally unexpected. At least for me. The 5-second drop is not crazy because she didn’t swim that event in Rio. She would have done it there. But honestly I had some doubts we would see her back one day in her Rio shape while being older. Never doubt about the legends. Never.

And I wonder how many French swimmers will go faster next week at our national championships in the men’s race. 🙂 Maybe 3. Maybe 4. Maybe 5 at best.

15.20.48! 😯
Congrats. Hats off to Katie Ledecky. A legend.

Statman
4 years ago

Now one has to wonder can she go 8:02 this weekend in the 800m free

Willis Munarwo
Reply to  Statman
4 years ago

Thinking the same.Shaving 5 full seconds that lady might break 8 minutes before 2020.

marklewis
4 years ago

Those Chinese girls should just FUGGEDABOUTIT.

It’s back to Katie racing the clock to break the records, and everyone else eating her bubbles.

Willis Munarwo
Reply to  marklewis
4 years ago

I am also feeling the same.The Chinese girls and even that Aussie girl who is saying she’s getting closer to Katie,I think they should start looking at each other.That is who’s likely gonna get a silver and bronze between the two of them.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
4 years ago

NO KIdding !!! 5 Long seconds OFF her previous Insane record ? Unbelievable Ledecky .

BGNole97
4 years ago

Wore a tech suit in a mid-season meet.

Tsk Tsk Tsk.

Records don’t mean anything right?

Gary P
Reply to  BGNole97
4 years ago

As a newly minted pro with endorsement contracts, which presumably have WR bonus clauses, they probably mean cold, hard cash now.

BGNole97
Reply to  Gary P
4 years ago

Obviously.

My post was in reference to the story and associated “discussion” regarding USA Swimming potentially banning tech suits for 12 and Under swimmers.

pooholla
Reply to  BGNole97
4 years ago

katie ledecky is 21 years old.

pursuing professional bowling
4 years ago

The real question is what place will she finish once the guys swim…

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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