Katie Ledecky Says No to Open Water


In an otherwise uninteresting and innocuous interview, American swimmer Katie Ledecky declared after her 800 free win on Saturday at the World Championships that she has no interest in open water.

Ledecky is quickly climbing the ranks of the most decorated pool swimmers in history – that 800 free win is her 14th World Championship in just 3 meets raced, which already puts her 3 ahead of Missy Franklin for the most long course, swimming, World Championships by a woman (behind only Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte among all swimmers).

In spite of becoming so dominant in the distance freestyles that she’s started challenging herself in other races where wins aren’t such a guarantee, she says she has no interest in making the leap into the open water in response to a question in her post-race interview.

“I am not going to venture in open water!” Ledecky said.

Open water swimming is relatively new at the Olympic Games, though there are already swimmers who have had success in both events. In London, Ous Mellouli became the first swimmer to have won gold in both disciplines when he won the open water 10km race. He had previously won the 1500 free in the pool in 2008, and also took 1500 bronze in London – at the same Games where he won open water gold.

The women’s winner in London, Eva Risztov, has never won an Olympic medal in the pool, but almost a decade before her open water triumph, she won 3 long course World Championships in the 400 free, 200 fly, and 400 IM just shy of her 18th birthday.

Ledecky wouldn’t exactly be a trail-blazer into the open water, but subjectively she would be easily the biggest name to try and make that leap. As Ledecky has begun to test new additions to her lineup (she swam the 400 IM at the Pac-12 Championships, and has been on the last few 400 free relays), perhaps open water could be something she’d get more into later in her career. With a Stanford degree on its way, though, Ledecky might not be looking too hard to extending her career much past the point of its natural pool conclusion.

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I think Ledecky might be bored with swimming right now. Yes it’s great and all to be setting records and winning golds by huge margins, but at some point maybe it comes a bit hollow? I would not at all be surprised if she moved to a bigger im focus


At least should try a taper 400 im in LC.
Next year will be a good timing to do it.
I would like to see her do a taper 200 fly too.


That breaststroke though.


Maybe li can provide her with a challenge in 2019 if she keeps improving


Li will be like Ye Shiwen


i am actually pondering about that too …on the picture . Katie looks like its time to change some things . She feels vanished or bored .


Agree..she looks sad or bored. Thought the interview on NBC with Leah and Katie after the 800 free was rather interesting. Leah seemed to really be trying to boost Katie up there.


Indeed. I thought the same when watching the live coverage on Eurosport. Even during the medal ceremony there was no smile.


I seriously question whether Katie Ledecky misses her former coach Bruce Gemmell.

Lane Four

I had the same thought as well. They were magic together.


There was the first time when I saw both athlete and coach crying after making a great achievement. The accomplishment of this “565” three years long plan that included along the way nine world record worth tears of happiness and sadness at the same time that it is completed and is over. Bruce Gemmell told in his post Rio interview that he would give a lot to train Katie again.
But “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” I think.


She might be feeling that Olympic hangover


Katie Ledecky looked like an athlete running on fumes.


That’s an interesting expression on her face.

She set such a high bar at a young age. She’s already has set all the records and won all the gold medals.

Maybe she should quit for a year and then make a comeback.


some changes are surely needed


Greg Meehan may have worked wonders with Maya DiRado but I’m seriously starting to question whether Greg Meehan is the right coach for Katie Ledecky.


Katie Ledecky can start by dropping the women’s 100 m freestyle from her program altogether. Katie Ledecky never has and never will be the savior of the women’s 100 m freestyle.

Women’s 100 m freestyle
Personal Bests
Manuel – 52.27
Comerford – 52.59
Weitzeil – 53.28
Franklin – 53.36
Neal – 53.59
Ledecky – 53.75


If there is one major international tournament to forego, it’s the Pan Pacs.

Distance Swimmer

Same girl same

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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