Katie Ledecky Breaks Championship Record in 400 FR, #2 All-Time Individual Golds


American Katie Ledecky has reclaimed her gold medal in the 400 freestyle. Despite not taking back her World Record from Australian Ariane Titmus, she did break the Championship Record in the event with her time of 3:58.15. Her time took down her own mark of 3:58.34 from the 2017 World Championships. 

Splits Comparison: 

Katie Ledecky – 2017 World Championships
Katie Ledecky – 2022 World Championships
Distance Split Cumulative Time Distance Split
Cumulative Time
50m 28.05 28.05 50m 27.62 27.62
100m 29.66 57.71 100m 29.46 57.08
150m 30.19 01:27.90 150m 29.96 01:27.04
200m 29.84 01:57.74 200m 30.07 01:57.11
250m 30.31 02:28.05 250m 30.17 02:27.28
300m 30.35 02:58.40 300m 30.54 02:57.82
350m 30.26 03:28.66 350m 30.42 03:28.24
400m 29.68 03:58.34 400m 29.91 03:58.15

As can be seen by her splits, Ledecky was out much faster at the 100m split than she was in 2017, splitting .6 faster in 2022. That split difference ultimately carried itself throughout her swim, with her other splits remaining relatively even in the middle of her race. Although she closed .3 faster over the final 50 meters in 2017 than in 2022, the gap was too wide to close.

Notably, Ledecky’s performance marks her 4th fastest performance in her career, only being surpassed from her times from the 2021 and 2016 Olympic Games, plus an in-season time of 3:57.94 from 2018. This is her first World Championships since moving to train with Anthony Nesty in Florida.

Katie Ledecky’s 5 Fastest 400 Freestyle Performances: 

    1. 3:56.46 – 2016 Olympic Games (Former WR)
    2. 3:57.36 – 2021 Olympic Games 
    3. 3:57.94 – 2018 Indianapolis Pro Swim Series
    4. 3:58.15 – 2022 World Championships
    5. 3:58.34 – 2017 World Championships

By winning this event, Ledecky earns her 12th individual World Championship title which moves her to #2 all-time, breaking the tie she previously held with Sun Yang. Even if she wins the 800 freestyle and 1500 freestyle this week, she will be one shy of breaking Michael Phelps’ all-time mark of 15 individual gold medals. 

Swimmers With the Most Individual Titles at the World Championships: 

  1. Michael Phelps – 15
  2. Katie Ledecky – 12
  3. Sun Yang – 11
  4. Ryan Lochte – 10 
  5. Katinka Hosszu – 9

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1 month ago

Judging by Katie’s reaction the target was under 3:58. But still extremely impressive. After 10 years of exceptionally successful career to be still at such incredible shape to swim her 4th best is incredible. Congratulations.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 month ago

I thought she was finished according a certain message board poster?

1 month ago

Katie the GOAT

Reply to  Owlmando
1 month ago

Sorry Phelps the GOAT

1 month ago

Congrats to Katie! She’s such one of the best athletes of all time.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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