Race Video: Ledecky’s 3rd Consecutive Worlds 800 Free Title

2017 FINA WORLD SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

It’s not Katie Ledecky. It’s us. We’ve become so accustomed to watching her lap the competition in 800 and 1500 freestyle events, even on the world stage, that we declare the tenth-fastest 800 free performance in history “ho hum” because there were two swimmers within the camera’s frame as Ledecky wrapped up her swim. Yes, China’s Li Bingjie was phenomenal, moving up to third on the all-time list with her second-place 8:15.46. Yes, Leah Smith‘s PB of 8:17.22 was amazing in its own right, earning her the bronze medal and making her the 11th-fastest performer in history. But let’s not forget that Ledecky has owned this race, and the 400 and the 1500, on the world stage since the 2013 World Championships. Let’s let that sink in a bit before we “ho hum” anything.

Watch the entire race, courtesy of NBC Sports, below:

Write-up from James Sutherland:

WOMEN’S 800 FREE – FINAL

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA, 8:12.68
  2. Li Bingjie, CHN, 8:15.46
  3. Leah Smith, USA, 8:17.22

It wasn’t the most dominant performance of Katie Ledecky‘s career, but she got the job done in the 800 free in a time of 8:12.68. That gives her three straight World titles in the event, giving her three three-peats along with the 400 and 1500.

China’s Li Bingjie had an amazing swim, jumping into 3rd on the all-time performers list in 8:15.46 for silver, crushing her Asian record. Leah Smith also snapped her best time to win bronze in 8:17.22, her first time under 8:20.

Mireia Belmonte (8:23.30) and Boglarka Kapas (8:24.41) finished 4th and 5th.

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Dave
4 years ago

I really enjoyed these announcers, better than the Olympic Channel.

Leto
Reply to  Dave
4 years ago

Agreed I really like how they called the race

AWSI DOOGER
Reply to  Dave
4 years ago

Absolutely, to quote Brittany MacLean. I think the over/under is 27.5 times per telecast that she uses the word, “absolutely.”

Not bad overall though. This is the same announcing crew that calls the prelim coverage on Olympic Channel every morning.

Mikeh
4 years ago

Greg Meehan should take a look at Ledecky’s training leading up to this. She is so good that even her B game is good enough to win, but clearly she was not as well prepared for this meet as she was in previous meets.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Mikeh
4 years ago

Katie Ledecky can start by dropping the women’s 100 m freestyle from her program altogether. Katie Ledecky never has been 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

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Mikeh
4 years ago

Katie Ledecky can start by dropping the women’s 100 m freestyle from her program altogether.

http://omegatiming.com/File/Download?id=000111010E01001500FFFFFFFFFFFF02

http://omegatiming.com/File/Download?id=000111010E01001502FFFFFFFFFFFF02

SchoolingFTW
4 years ago

Li Bingjie has great technique, but need to improve her turns. She lost some at the turns against both Ledecky and Smith.

I don’t know how Smith maintain those shoulders from injuries, swimming shoulder driven straight arm in all her races.

completelyconquered
Reply to  SchoolingFTW
4 years ago

Smith has great flexibility in her shoulders that allow her to swim like that.

Ice age swimmer
Reply to  SchoolingFTW
4 years ago

For some people the straight arm freestyle can be easier on the shoulders than the high elbow freestyle.

Carlo
Reply to  SchoolingFTW
4 years ago

She has actually improved her turns from before. It was BAD before.
She,’ll improve further.

AWSI DOOGER
4 years ago

That red world record line can be set aside from now on when Ledecky swims

OldWahooVA
Reply to  AWSI DOOGER
4 years ago

It is a post Olympic year, she just finished her 1st year of college (and Stanford’s year runs later than most), new coach, new environment all-around, give her a break – I bet she’s back to her old tricks (breaking records) next year.

oli993
Reply to  OldWahooVA
4 years ago

I don’t think she will drop times in the next years. She swam in Budapest like she lost her mojo. Still an extremely good swimmer but not otherwordly any more.

Mikeh
Reply to  OldWahooVA
4 years ago

Only if the Stanford coaching staff figures out what is wrong. I suspect Ledecky is very overtrained. The bane of collegiate swimming. They must correct this.

Baker-King-Vollmer-Manuel
Reply to  Mikeh
4 years ago

What the 2017 FINA World Championships proved to me is that USA Swimming does not need Katie Ledecky to swim the women’s 100 m freestyle.

DaddyMooMoo
4 years ago

Is Leah Smith Katie Ledecky’s Ryan Lochte?

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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