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

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bobo gigi
5 years ago

I didn’t watch the prelims.
Is it real?
Either she was in total control and will swim 15.20 in final or she has lost some common sense forgetting she has a very tough 200 free to come.

5 years ago

Or she figures she needs to conserve energy for the 200 and decided to go for the WR in Prelims and go lighter in finals

bobo gigi
Reply to  Markster
5 years ago

Maybe. But I’m a little worried for the end of her week. And I want to see a huge 800 free.
It’s time for her to put the 800 free WR at the same level as the other events. And I think she will not be fully satisfied as long as she doesn’t swim around 8.08.
Problem: the 800 free always comes at the end of the meet at worlds and at olympic games. That’s why I would have preferred to see her save energy in all her prelims and semifinals’ races until next Saturday.
But she can’t do it.


Philip Johnson
Reply to  Markster
5 years ago

That is what I was thinking. I think that’s a smart strategy. I also thought she maybe just wanted to silence the crowd who thought she was slacking after her 400 swim.

5 years ago

So WRs keep coming in the prelims or semis, but not in finals. 🙂

bobo gigi
Reply to  SwimFanFinland
5 years ago

And you know I hate that!

Philip Johnson
5 years ago

In the words of New Edition, Ledecky needs to “cool it now.” It’s early now, but she’s going to feel if after the 1500 and swimming in the semis of the 200. Save it for the final! Unless her plan is to coast in the 1500 final. I wouldn’t be mad if she did that at all. Maybe she wanted to shut everyone up after her “disappointing” swim in the 400..

Luke Miao
Reply to  Philip Johnson
5 years ago

WTF the 400 swim was amazing, yes it wasn’t her best but it was still amazing

5 years ago

Smart strategy (I think). She’s gotten her WR, then she’ll get her gold tomorrow at a more relaxed pace, get her 10 minutes rest, and do her 200 semifinal in 1:55+. And she won’t have had quite as grueling a 1500 the day before her 200 final.

5 years ago

Wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was intentional — so that she can coast the 1500 final to set up her 200 free semi.

Katie has done the same thing in her HS championship meet the last 2 yrs — she’s broken the Am. Record in the 500 during Friday night prelims when she can swim the race fresh (including her 4:26 in Feb.); then goes a bit slower during a busy Finals schedule where she has to also swim the 200 and two relays.

In Finals, Katie could essentially go into warmdown mode for the final 200 of her mile if she wants to.

gary p
Reply to  SwimGeek
5 years ago

“In Finals, Katie could essentially go into warmdown mode for the final 200 of her mile if she wants to.”

Honestly, she could go to warmdown mode for the last 400. She was almost an entire length ahead of the second qualifier (27 seconds ahead, with a 29 second last 50) in the prelims. If this were short-course, she’d have lapped damn near the entire field!

bobo gigi
5 years ago

So if it’s a strategy, you think she will only play the gold medal in final like Sun Yang does it with no world record in mind? With the other swimmers until the 1300 meters and then boom, big finish and a quiet win in 15.40/15.45? With the 200 free semifinals in mind?
We are not used to that with KL.

bobo gigi
5 years ago

RACE VIDEO! Cool. I didn’t watch the prelims live. Hopefully the FINA police will not ban all the videos again. They are very active since the start of the meet.