Katie Ledecky Dominates with World Record in 1500m Prelims

by Cindy Adair 29

August 03rd, 2015 International, News

Katie Ledecky dominates distance freestyler, breaking her own World Record by 0.65 tonight. In a stunning display of power and technical expertise, it was hard to believe it was a prelim performance.

In a very smooth and calculated swim Ledecky’s cumulative splits were as follows:

  • 100m 59.09
  • 200m 2.01.83
  • 300m 3.04.01
  • 400m 4.06.41
  • 500m 5.08.95
  • 600m 6.11.18
  • 700m 7.13.42
  • 800m 8.15.29
  • 900m 9.17.76
  • 1000m 10.19.55
  • 1100m 11.21.84
  • 1200m 12.23.58
  • 1300m 13.25.50
  • 1400m 14.27.51
  • 1500m 15.27.71

Ledecky split the 500’s in roughly:

  • 5:09
  • 5:10
  • 5:08

Ledecky is now ideally placed to swim to win the Final as she will also contest the 200m Semi-Final one race after the 1500m.

Moving through to the Final in 2nd placed was Denmark’s Lotte Friis and in 3rd place was Jessica Ashwood (Australia). The Australian broke her national record on her way to the finals posting a lifetime best of 15.56.52.


2013 World Champion: Katie Ledecky, USA – 15:36.53
World Record: 15:28.36 – Katie Ledecky, USA – 2014
Championship Record: 15:36.53 – Katie Ledecky, USA – 2013

She may have missed her World Record when she won the 400 free relay last night, but USA’s Katie Ledecky was better than ever this morning in the prelims of the women’s 1500 free. She looked smooth the whole way through in a historic prelims swim to set a new world record.

Ledecky was leagues ahead of the rest of the field, dropping a 29.47 final 50 to set the new World Record at 15:27.71. She’ll have a chance to lower that even more in the final.

Behind her in that heat, Australia’s Jessica Ashwood swam a sub-16 minute time to qualify 3rd for the final in 15:56.52. Denmark’s Lotte Friis was also under 16 minutes. She ran away with heat 2 to qualify 2nd in 15:54.23.
Friis was over 7 seconds ahead of Chile’s Kristel Kobrich (time) who qualified 4th place. Kobrich came in just before New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle (16:02.84), who will also challenge for a medal tonight.

Boglarka Kapas (16:06.25), Sharon Van Rouwendaal (16:09.12), and Aurora Ponsele (16:12.01) closed out the qualifying spots for finals. Van Rouwendaal will be a contender for a 2nd medal in this race after picking up silver in the 400 free yesterday.

Top 8: Ledecky, USA; Friis, DEN; Ashwood, AUS; Kobrich, CHI; Boyle, NZL; Kapas, HUN; Van Rouwendaal, NED; Ponsele, ITA

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7 years ago

Bobo gigi…if u had the talent like ledecky would u swim to win or swim to break world records????? I u were swimming 1 event sure why not go full speed to win…but if u are swimming multiple finals in one day conserving engery by just enough to win is a very smart plan…I would do the same thing….

One has to wonder if ledecky goes all out In the 1500 and go under 15:20 would she have enough energy to make the final of the 200…. going all out could potentially hurt ledeckys chance To make the final because the 200 free is a deep event….we see what happens later

Go ledecky hope u put up A fast 200… Read more »

7 years ago

she should compete against the men.

7 years ago

Katie would have almost won the Men’s Junior National Championship this year…and might well have if she was racing against something other then the clock. You can’t help but think she has more in the tank, and that 15:27 will not be the mark for long…

Jim C
Reply to  James
7 years ago

I’m sure she could go faster, but after tomorrow she might not swim another 1500 LCM until 2017.

7 years ago

So proud of Katie Ledecky. In an era where American dominance in the pool is being challenged, and may coming to an end, Katie’s accomplishments are even more impressive.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Ok. I’ve just watched the race. KL was full speed from the start to finish. She swam the prelims like a final. I hate that but if you tell me that’s a strategy.

If she was really in an energy conservation mode, then she would swim all week:
4.04 in the 400 free prelims
15.50/15.55 in the 1500 free prelims
8.18/8.20 in the 800 free prelims.
If she really wanted to save energy for the 200 free, an event in which she is a clear underdog, then she would have not swum like that.
Sorry but I don’t understand the tactic. And I’m a big fan since I watched her swim for the first time… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

bobo how do you think she went hard? she looked relaxed the whole swim and wasnt breathing hard like we’ve seen after hard swims.

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

I respect your opinion but in this case will need to disagree. She was quick from the beginning but she didn’t look like she was coming close to fully exerting herself. There was no kick until the end and she definitely sped up at the 900 like she stated her plan to be. She wasn’t red/oxygen deprived at the end. Certainly she didn’t go out and take a bath but she did not appear to go all out on this one.

It seems like she is managing her week well. Tomorrow is a tough day but otherwise she is down to one swim a day afterwards. We will see how she does but I wouldn’t second guess her. I… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

She really should consult with you next time she races.

Jim C
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

I would like to have been able to see what Ledecky might have done if she hadn’t decided to do the double. But as far as winning is concerned, she should be able to win the 1500 and the 800 as well as the 400, so she really isn’t risking anything by swimming the 200–except really impressive times.

7 years ago

According to her interview with another rival website not to be named, she hadn’t planned on going fast. She had instructions to swim 900 easy, push the next 300 and then decide for herself what to do the last 300. Watching the event she jumped out of the water as if she had just finished warm up. It is scary if that is really what happened. I initially thought she had planned her fast 1500 for prelims but apparently not.

Her 800s (with one 100 overlap) were 815.2/814.3. Only RA has ever gone that fast for an individual 800. Not sure what is to come.

7 years ago

Yeah, my guess is that she will purposely go slower in finals to set herself up best for the 200. I bet she really wants that 200 win, she’s kind of gotten used to being a given to win distance events and in the 200 she has a lot of great competition so she wants to conquer that. Won’t be easy with Godzilla swimming great and I expect pelligrini to be tough after a quick relay split yesterday.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Klorn8d
7 years ago

Pellegrini is perhaps the woman to beat in my opinion.
But I also still hope a Missy rebirth.

Reply to  Klorn8d
7 years ago

hahahahaha my phone autocorrected hosszu to godzilla somehow, honestly kind of fitting with how badass she is

Reply to  klorn8d
7 years ago

And I knew exactly who you were talking about, even before you clarified it. The Iron Lady might have a new nickname!

7 years ago

Thank you – good quality, and in English!