In winning the women’s 200 freestyle on Friday evening at the Mesa Grand Prix, not only did 17-year old Katie Ledecky leap to 4th in the world rankings this year and mark a lifetime best (by .05 seconds); she also broke the official on-the-books FINA Junior World Record.
That cleared the existing starting standard, as recognized by FINA, for girls aged 14-17, of 1:58.93. That time was done by Canadian Brittany MacLean at the 2011 Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru.
As we have talked about since FINA began ratifying Junior World Records on April 1, with the existing FINA Junior World Championships Records as the minimum threshold to get a Junior World Record, Ledecky’s swim is far from the fastest ever done by a 14-17 year old girl. In fact, it’s not even the fastest done by a 14-17 year old girl in her own country, as that standard belongs to then-16-year old Missy Franklin, who was a 1:55.06 at the 2011 World Championships (twice).
Unlike Ledecky’s pending Junior World Record in the 400 free from Thursday, however, at least this is Ledecky’s personal best time.