Katie Ledecky Breaks World Record in Women’s 1500 Meter Freestyle

  185 Braden Keith | August 24th, 2014 | National, News

American Katie Ledecky has crushed her own World Record in the women’s 1500 meter freestyle on Saturday at the 2014 Pan Pac Championships on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Ledecky’s 15:28.36 broke the 15:34.23 that she swam at an untapered meet in The Woodlands, Texas in June of this year. Year-over-year, her World Record from 2013 was a 15:36.53 done at last year’s World Championships.

As we’ve seen from Ledecky all meet long, en route to two World Records, the difference here came almost entirely on the back-half of her swim. As compared to her old World Record splits, on Sunday she was out in just 8:16.90, as compared to 8:16.18 in the Woodlands in June.

After that, though, in her last 14 splits, she only twice went over 31 seconds on a split, and actually negative-split this race by 800s: 8:16.90/8:14.11 (with 100 meters of overlap).

That is now 7 times in the last three years that Ledecky has broken a World Record, out of 25 total World Records broken across the sport, meaning she’s done 28% of the rewriting in that time period.

What’s more, her best 800 meters worth of splits add up to an 8:10.99 in the 800 free – under that World Record. That won’t count as anything official, with those splits not being her first 800 meters. Those sorts of comparisons are more fun than a realistic representation, as for athletes of her caliber, there’s some small amount of recovery even on a 31.3 or 31.4 seconds split (as mind-boggling as that is to the rest of us). That doesn’t make them any less impressive.

Early in 2013, before Ledecky first broke this record, Kate Ziegler’s 15:42.54 looked like one of the most impressive World Records on the books. It broke an almost 20-year old record, held by Janet Evans, by 10 seconds, and then stood up against the 2008 and 2009 suited years.

In 13 months, however, Ledecky has lowered it by another 14 seconds, or roughly 1.5% of the original time. That would be the equivalent of someone popping off a 46.2 in the men’s 100 free, in textile, on a flat-start: something we may not see for a long, long time in swimming.

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185 Comments on "Katie Ledecky Breaks World Record in Women’s 1500 Meter Freestyle"

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In Kindergarten Cop, the teacher saw bruises on the little boy. He suspected child abuse. The mother told him the bruises were from a fall. He was skeptical about her story. I cannot be skeptical about Ye Shiwen’s swim in London, I can only be skeptical about a claim regarding the swim. When Dee says she is skeptical about Ledecky’s performance she is really misusing the English language since she can only be skeptical about some claim regarding the swim. But native speakers of English probably misuse the English language more often than they use it correctly–so I am going to assume that she means she would be skeptical about a claim that Ledecky’s performance was without the assistance of… Read more »

I would like to invite Dee to look at the recent Swimswam post praising the British cycling coach whose athletes won 16 gold medals at the last two Olympics. Would she be so kind as to express her skeptism there, and not just on a post praising an American swimmer?

J you said the japanese are doping. japan is probably the cleanest big nation in sports.no japanese athlete has failed a doping test in the history of the olympics.akihiro yamaguchi is inconsistent but japan also has one of the most consistent swimmers in the history of swimming in ryosuke irie. tyler clary is inconsistent but somehow manages to beat irie in the big meets. I would say tyler clary is suspicious.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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