Katie Ledecky wins in Olympic Debut, Breaks Evans Record

  111 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | August 03rd, 2012 | International, London 2012 Olympics, News

International racing debuts, at the Olympic level, are heart-stoppers.

Team USA’s Katie Ledecky, only 15 years old – the youngest member of the US Olympic Team – left little doubt from the start of the women’s 800 meter freestyle final to the finish, making the race less nerve-racking than most. In control, it was Ledecky against the world record line, for nearly 770 meters. She fell just shy of the mark, swimming a 8:14.63, but still fast enough to break Janet Evans’ 22 year old American Record of 8:16.22, set in Japan, 1989, at the Pan Pacific Games.

It’s been a generation since the swimming community has seen a distance powerhouse like Janet Evans. Here is Janet’s 800 free 1988 Olympic final:


Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia was a distant second, 8:18.76.

Britian’s Rebecca Adlingon, the defending Olympic Champion, was third,  8:20.32. Adlington’s winning time and world record at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, 8:14.10, was set in a hi-tech suit, a Speedo LZR. At that time, Adlington made headlines becoming the first British woman in swimming to win Olympic gold in 48 years.

Adlington’s 800 freestyle 2008 Olympic win: 


Ledecky’s split-times:

Time Rank Split
50 m 28.39 1 28.39
100 m 58.81 2 30.42
150 m 1:29.01 1 30.20
200 m 1:59.95 1 30.94
250 m 2:30.82 1 30.87
300 m 3:02.10 1 31.28
350 m 3:33.02 1 30.92
400 m 4:04.34 1 31.32
450 m 4:35.55 1 31.21
500 m 5:07.11 1 31.56
550 m 5:38.39 1 31.28
600 m 6:10.02 1 31.63
650 m 6:41.38 1 31.36
700 m 7:12.81 1 31.43
750 m 7:44.13 1 31.32
Finish 8:14.63 1 30.50

In This Story

Leave a Reply

111 Comments on "Katie Ledecky wins in Olympic Debut, Breaks Evans Record"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
i,m a fan of swimming and some chinese swimmers have been on my radar for about 2 years now starting from the 2010 asian games. Some performed well ( some exeeded expectations) while others were subpar at the london olympics despite showing promise. Ye shiwen exceeded my expectations, back in 2010 she was a lot shorter than she is now. She was about 5,3 now she,s 5,8 in height. A friend of mine who is chinese watched her in guanghou and told me to look out for her at the shanghai world championships in 2011. I watched her race at the meet, it was the 200 meters im. She was phenomenal there but she was a bit slower at the… Read more »
I’m American too. I don’t think anybody should accuse anybody because I believe these 2 just happened to have phenomenal swims at the highest meet possible. I think Ledecky got in her groove this year or last 2 years. She has actually been on my radar for a year and a half since her great performance at 2011 summer jr nats. In fact, she would have gotten 1st or 2nd I believe if she went to sr nats. I don’t think Ledecky looks unusual. She is a young girl just growing into her body…reminds me a bit of phelps in 2000… Remember those ears! I think Leonard is eating his words now…since the Americans performed extraordinarily esp. the young Ledecky,… Read more »
i,m american and i assume you are an american too hence the defence of ledecky. I think her time drops are too steep. 39 seconds in 2 years and about 11 seconds this year alone. Anyway what do you think of john leonard,s accusation of ye shiwen. John leonard is a fellow american who accused ye shiwen( who is chinese) of doping. Ye shiwen dropped 5 seconds in 2 years. He didn,t accuse our own female 4×100 relay team of doping after they broke a 20 year old world record at the london olympics. Also look ath the physical differences between ye shiwen and katie ledecky. Ledecky looks a lot more manish. She also looks old for her age yet… Read more »

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

Read More »