Katie Ledecky Throws Down 15:30.15 1500 Free, #6 Fastest Performance Of All-Time


With her win in the 1500 free today, Katie Ledecky continues her ten-year long (and going) reign of dominance in women’s distance freestyle. She swam a time of 15:30.15, which is her fastest time since 2020. It is also significantly faster than the 15:37.34 she swam at the Tokyo Olympic games last year. In addition, her swim is also the sixth-fastest performance in the history of the event, with only five of her own previous times being quicker. Ledecky’s time today is over eight seconds faster than any other woman has been in the women’s 1500 free, as the second-fastest performer in the event is Denmark’s Lotte Friis, who has a best time of 15:38.88.

The American now owns the top 13 performances in the history of the women’s 1500 free.

Top Peformances In The Women’s 1500 Free:

  1. Katie Ledecky – 15:20.48 (2018)
  2. Katie Ledecky – 15:25.48 (2015)
  3. Katie Ledecky – 15:27.71 (2015)
  4. Katie Ledecky – 15:29.36 (2014)
  5. Katie Ledecky – 15:29.51 (2020)
  6. Katie Ledecky – 15:30.15 (2022)

Ledecky takes home her 17th world championship title and her 13th individual title, being jusst two golds away from typing Michael Phelps as the swimmer with the most individual world championship titles. Her performance today was her fourth 1500 free world title, as she also won the event in 2013, 2015, and 2017. She didn’t swim the event in 2019, having to withdraw from it due to an illness.

The interesting thing is that Ledecky was actually faster than her world record pace for the first 500 meters of her race, but then faded after that. However, she still closed in a 29.56 final 50, similar to the 29.22 she closed in when she broke her world record in 2018. We are starting to see a pattern of Ledecky taking out her distance races very hard, as she also opened her 800 free at U.S. trials on world record pace but then ended up finishing five seconds slower.

Comparative Splits:

Katie Ledecky, 2022 World Championships Katie Ledecky, 2018 TYR Pro Swim Series (World Record)
50m 28.35 28.09
100m 30.26 30.41
150m 30.59 30.76
200m 30.84 30.99
250m 30.77 30.86
300m 31.00 31.39
350m 31.16 31.21
400m 31.28 31.17
450m 31.05 30.98
500m 31.16 30.96
550m 30.95 30.70
600m 31.04 30.77
650m 31.05 30.99
700m 31.18 30.85
750m 30.97 30.75
800m 31.41 30.82
850m 31.10 30.82
900m 31.48 30.68
950m 31.43 30.76
1000m 31.32 30.87
1050m 31.32 30.6
1100m 31.63 30.72
1150m 31.29 30.9
1200m 31.57 30.89
1250m 31.53 30.68
1300m 31.45 30.81
1350m 31.11 30.84
1400m 31.32 30.44
1450m 30.98 30.55
1500m 29.56 29.22
Total 15:30.15 15:20.48

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7 months ago

Anyone know why FINA has not ratified Katie Ledecky’s performance at the 2022 FL SZ South Sectionals Championships dated 13 February 2022?

Awsi Dooger
7 months ago

Ledecky went out very fast then her stroke shortened noticeably during the second half. She has so much dedication and margin for error in the 800 and 1500 I don’t see why she can’t continue to swim them through 2028 or even 2032. Let’s face it, these are always weak events on the international level. Even when someone comes along like McIntosh or Grimes they switch to other events.

My reference point was Grimes in relation to Sullivan in Tokyo. I really thought a rested Grimes would better Sullivan’s !5:41. Didn’t happen. The coverage cut to commercial and when they returned Grimes had fallen much further back.

It’s too bad Ledecky had the 200-1500 double because I’m sure she’s somewhat… Read more »

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
7 months ago

I seriously doubt Katie Ledecky will attempt the W 200 FR/1500 FR double/double (heats/final). Li Bingjie attempted the aforementioned double/double at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics and failed to qualify for the final in both events.

As for future FINA World Aquatics Championships, I can foresee Katie Ledecky forego the women’s 200 meter freestyle in the interests of self-preservation.

7 months ago

Totally unexpected of course!?

7 months ago

There were a lot of talks at this site about short lived career of long distance swimmers. The 19 years old age was indicated as the end of career. A lot of statistics were provided to prove this statement. The only exception was Lotte Friis who racing against young Ledecky at age of 25 showed the time that is still remains unbeaten by any other swimmers but Ledecky for 9 years already.
Now Ledecky is 25. And yeas she didn’t swam her best time (world record), and she wasn’t even faster the WJ record. But swimming her 6th best is really impressive and gives us a hope to see such a dominance for years to come until her retirement.

Reply to  Yozhik
7 months ago

Reference Lauren Boyle at the age of 27 during the 2015 FINA World Aquatics Championships and Sarah Kohler at the age of 27 during the Tokyo 2021 Olympics for personal best times in the women’s 1500 meter freestyle.

Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
7 months ago

I believe Haley Anderson also went significant best times in her distance events last year

7 months ago

I think that the same tactic will we see at 800 race. The first half of the race will be under world record pace. At least that is how she swam 8:09 a few months ago.

Reply to  Yozhik
7 months ago

The strategy for Katie Ledecky is not to kill herself in the heats as was the case in the preliminaries of the women’s 1500 meter freestyle at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

7 months ago

According to FINA, Katie Ledecky’s split at the 800 meter mark is the 22nd fastest All-Time Performance in the women’s 800 meter freestyle. The time of 8:13.06 is faster than any other performer has gone in the women’s 800 meter freestyle.


Last edited 7 months ago by Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
Georgia Rambler
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
7 months ago

Think her focus was on distance events for this meet, she just wanted to win the 400, but she did say she was working on getting the record back. Guess we will just have to wait and see.

Reply to  Georgia Rambler
7 months ago

At the age of 25, Katie Ledecky should take the gas off the pedal in the heats of the women’s 400 meter freestyle.

7 months ago

The heir apparent, Katie Grimes took I believe 7 seconds off her best time with that 15:44

Georgia Rambler
Reply to  Dave
7 months ago

She might have to wait awhile…

Reply to  Dave
7 months ago

Katie Ledecky is not going away anytime soon.

Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Curzan
7 months ago

I too think Ledecky is not retiring anytime soon. So will anyone be able to best Ledecky in an 800 or 1500 before she retires?

Reply to  therealAJC
7 months ago

That depends how long Katie Ledecky decides to swim.

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming through scoring countless dual meets, being a timer, and keeping track of her teammates' best times for three years as a team manager. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in …

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