Katie Ledecky Explains Negative Split 8:14 800 Free (Video)

Reported by James Sutherland.



  • 2020 Olympic Trial Cut: 8:48.09
  1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP, 8:14.40
  2. Ashley Twichell, TAC, 8:28.16
  3. Erica Sullivan, SAND, 8:29.02

To no surprise Katie Ledecky led the first heat of the women’s 800 free wire-to-wire to win by almost 14 seconds in 8:14.40, negative-splitting the race 4:07.27/4:07.13. This is her 20th fastest swim ever, and makes her the first swimmer to hit a 2020 Olympic Trials cut.

Ashley Twichell had the 2nd fastest swim of her career to take 2nd, clocking 8:28.16, and Erica Sullivan had her 3rd fastest performance ever for 3rd in 8:29.02.

Along with those three, Kaersten Meitz (8:37.11), Chase Travis (8:38.84) and Emma Weyant(8:41.30) also made the Trials cut (8:48.09) from heat 1.

15-year-old Paige McKenna (8:46.76) put herself into 8th overall and under the Trials standard from the second fastest heat.

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4 years ago

I noticed long time ago that 8:11 is Ledecky’s “high altitude base camp” from where she starts ascending. And she has confirmed it in this interview. 7 of her 21 best times are 8:11. 7 were faster and 7 slower. It took her one and a half year to go under 8:11 and therefore 8:07 in Kazan was even more exciting than her 8:04 in Rio.
Whoever dreams to beat Ledecky counting on the natural aging factor has to target 8:11 as their personal best.

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