2016 RIO OLYMPIC GAMES
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Swimming: August 6-13
- Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
- Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
- SwimSwam previews
- Schedule & Results
It wasn’t her best time – wasn’t even within 6 seconds, in fact – but Katie Ledecky still smashed the Olympic record in heats of the 800 free.
This certainly isn’t the biggest record Ledecky has broken in Rio, but it’s intriguing in that it shows just how far she’s come in the past four years.
Ledecky was 8:12.86 this morning – pedestrian for her, sure, but it’s still faster than anyone else in history has ever swum the race.
The Olympic record was also the old world record: 8:14.10 from Great Britain’s Rebecca Adlington at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
If you’ll remember back to 2012, Adlington entered the London Olympics as the favorite and qualified first out of heats (in 8:21). But in the next day’s final, Ledecky pulled the upset that rocketed her onto the world radar, going 8:14.63 for the win. But even that swim didn’t surpass Adlington’s record.
In the 4 years since, Ledecky has snagged the world record and subtracted a good 7.5 second from it. She’s now swum faster than the old world record 12 different times – and let’s be honest, she’s probably surpassed it once or twice in practice too.
This morning’s swim sits #8 in Ledecky’s all-time list, and #8 in the all-time swims list too. And if her 3:56 win in the 400 free (a world record by about two seconds) is any indicator, we’ll likely be seeing another world/Olympic record going down tomorrow night in what will be Ledecky’s final individual swim of these Rio Olympics.
Here are the top 800 freestyles in history. Ledecky now holds the top 12 all-time.
Ledecky’s Dirty Dozen:
- Ledecky (2016 Austin Pro Swim Series) – 8:06.68
- Ledecky (2015 World Championships) – 8:07.39
- Ledecky (2016 U.S. Olympic Trials) – 8:10.32
- Ledecky (2016 U.S. Olympic Trials heats) – 8:10.91
- Ledecky (2014 Woodlands Senior Invite) – 8:11.00
- Ledecky (2015 Austri Pro Swim Series) – 8:11.21
- Ledecky (2014 Pan Pacific Championships) – 8:11.35
- Ledecky (2016 Olympics heats) – 8:12.86
- Ledecky (2015 Mesa Pro Swim Series) – 8:13.02
- Ledecky (2016 Mesa Pro Swim Series) – 8:13.20
- Ledecky (2015 World Championships – split from 1500 free) – 8:13.25
- Ledecky (2013 World Championships) – 8:13.86
- Adlington (2008 Olympics) – 8:14.10