Trials Mixed Zone: Ledecky “I don’t know how many times I’ve been between 8:13 and 8:16”

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Reported by James Sutherland.

WOMEN’S 800 FREE FINAL

  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:04.79 (2016)
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky – 8:04.79 (2016)
  • US Open Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:06.68 (2016)
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:11.00 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 8:04.79
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Katie Ledecky – 8:10.32
  • Wave I Cut: 8:48.09
  • Wave II Cut: 8:44.01
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 8:33.36
  1. Katie Ledecky (NCAP), 8:14.62
  2. Katie Grimes (SAND), 8:20.36
  3. Haley Anderson (MVN), 8:20.51

It was a tale of two races in the women’s 800 free: Katie Ledecky versus the clock, and then the rest of the field battling for second.

Ledecky asserted herself early, taking off from the gun and running away with her fourth victory of the week in a time of 8:14.62, just under a second off her season-best of 8:13.64 set in March. The time for Ledecky, 24, falls just shy of the top-25 swims in history.

In an exciting race for the second spot, Bella SimsErica Sullivan and Haley Anderson all held the position at one point over the first 400 meters. Thing slowly began to separate, on the back-half, with 15-year-old Katie Grimes gradually moving through the field, turning third behind Ledecky and Anderson at the 700.

Grimes, swimming way out in Lane 8, was just a tenth back of Anderson with 50 to go, and made a huge charge down the last length, ultimately touching second in a time of 8:20.36 to Anderson’s 8:20.51. Anderson is almost double Grimes’ age (29 to 15).

Grimes becomes the third Sandpipers of Nevada female swimmer to qualify for the team this week, joining Sims (800 free relay) and Sullivan (1500 free). Grimes also smashed her previous best of 8:31.73 set in the prelims, and now ranks third all-time among 15-16s, trailing only Ledecky and Janet Evans.

Ally McHugh was sixth at the 500 but moved her way up to fourth at the end, edging out Sims (8:23.55) in 8:23.51. Sims, 16, lowers her best time down from 8:27.01 and is now ranks fourth among 15-16s.

Sullivan fell down to sixth in 8:24.02, but still chopped two seconds off her lifetime best.

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Mr Piano
2 months ago

She is pretty safe for a three peat in the 800

Not Tapered 🏊
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 months ago

I don’t know. I think she’ll be about 8:11-8:12 at best.

Deepblue
Reply to  Not Tapered 🏊
2 months ago

And the next closest swimmer(s) will be 8:13-8:14 at best.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Deepblue
2 months ago

Nope!

No one else will even break 8:14.63 as has been the case since 2012 Summer Olympics.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Deepblue
2 months ago

I think it’s very dangerous to doubt Ariarne Titmus at 800. She doesn’t really like the event, compared to the 200 and 400. Her confidence level is not the same and she doesn’t apply ideal strategy. But all it takes is once to summon the energy and keep going. If it’s ever going to happen it will be in Tokyo. And if so, past performances suddenly mean nothing. The 20 year old is going in one direction and the 24 year old in the opposite direction. Quadarella will battle hard but a big time drop from her is not logical. It can easily happen from Titmus.

Stephen
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

You’re scaring the Yanks with facts

Tswimmer
Reply to  Stephen
2 months ago

Please scare us with more “facts” about Titmus’ miraculous “shoulder injury” comeback as guided by a former pro rugby trainer.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Stephen
2 months ago

Gibberish

M d e
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

For Titmus to win Ledecky would have to be significantly off.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Titmus go a time that makes her number 2 ever. But would be pretty shocking for Titmus to win it.

commonwombat
Reply to  M d e
2 months ago

With MDE on this.

Is she as untouchable as in the past ? No. However, if she’s in 8.11 or better shape then she’s probably safe because whilst at least someone in the following pack may drop some time, its more likely to be in the range of 1-2sec rather than a 5sec drop. Such a time drop is more likely from someone in the 8.20 range than the more established names in the 8.14 – 8.16 band.

Titmus COULD medal here, maybe silver but she’s realistically just one of a number of potential contenders in the 8.14 -18.16 range. Her optimal range is 200-400 and that’s where her best chances lie.

Robbos
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

No gold medal is engraved. Currently Ledecky is the favourite, no doubt, but as Titmus put in a 2second PB in the 400 & was not fully tapered, she could pull out a 4-5 second drop in the 800.
Not saying she will, but not impossible as you put it, if she is in the type of form Ledecky was in RIO, taking on the 200-400 & 800. A Katie Grimes could come from 2.20 & beat everyone, but these are the probabilities, I wouldn’t write Titmus off for Gold just yet.
Of course she will go nowhere near Ledecky’s 8.04, because that was just out of this world.

Last edited 2 months ago by Robbos
Ger
2 months ago

I dunno, Ledecky just seems more vulnerable this time around. Even Rowdy could only put forward the theory that she is trying to induce false confidence in her opponents by putting up, for her, ordinary times. He’s hiding his doubts. I’m a big KL fan and I hope she has a great lead up to Tokyo and wins the 800 and 1500 as only she can. I just can’t see it happening in the 200 and 400. I would love to be wrong.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Ger
2 months ago

She was 1:54 at mission in 200 looked great, just depends how she feels really when the time comes.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 months ago

Katie Ledecky was not even tapered at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Stan Crump
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Do we know this for a fact?

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Stan Crump
2 months ago

To quote Katie Ledecky, “a little rest”. For Katie Ledecky, “a little rest” meant the inability to swim a 3k threshold on the plane ride to Omaha, NE.

Stephen
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

And Titmus just jumped outta the training pool for the trials
Excuses central

TheKaz
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Neither was Titmus… next excuse please.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Ger
2 months ago

Hogwash.

Katie Ledecky has posted the top three performances in the women’s 800 meter freestyle in calendar year 2021.

https://www.fina.org/swimming/rankings?gender=F&distance=800&stroke=FREESTYLE&poolConfiguration=LCM&year=2021&startDate=&endDate=&timesMode=ALL_TIMES&regionId=all&countryId=

Katie Ledecky has posted the top four performances in the women’s 1500 meter freestyle in calendar year 2021.

https://www.fina.org/swimming/rankings?gender=F&distance=1500&stroke=FREESTYLE&poolConfiguration=LCM&year=2021&startDate=&endDate=&timesMode=ALL_TIMES&regionId=all&countryId=

Paul
Reply to  Ger
2 months ago

If she wins the 800 and 1500 free, is an extraordinary result.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Paul
2 months ago

Huh?

Katie Ledecky has won the women’s 800 meter freestyle and the women’s 1500 meter freestyle at the 2013, 2015, 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships. If Katie Ledecky was not ill at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships, Katie Ledecky would have won the women’s 1500 meter freestyle, as well.

Stephen
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

The program is off the charts…..and the 800m is last if I’m right. Fatigue may play a part.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Stephen
2 months ago

The schedule of events is almost identical to the FINA World Aquatics Championships:

400 meter freestyle
1500 meter freestyle
200 meter freestyle
800 meter freestyle

The difference is the final of the women’s 1500 meter freestyle precedes the semifinals of the women’s 200 meter freestyle during the same session.

SuperSwimmer 2000
Reply to  Stephen
2 months ago

She’s done the same program at Worlds a number of times. She shall be fine.

TeamDressel
Reply to  Stephen
2 months ago

Didn’t fatigue in Río

Troyy
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

Her program isn’t the same as Rio

TeamDressel
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

She’s used to having tough programs

Go heels
2 months ago

Ledecky speculation stopped being credible when she dropped a 15:20 after Stanford “ruined” her

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Go heels
2 months ago

If anyone is vulnerable at the Summer Olympics, it’s Katinka Hosszu especially in the women’s 200 meter individual medley:

https://www.fina.org/swimming/rankings?gender=F&distance=200&stroke=MEDLEY&poolConfiguration=LCM&year=2021&startDate=&endDate=&timesMode=BEST_TIMES&regionId=all&countryId=

Not Tapered 🏊
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Katinka just looking to get on the podium.

ACC
2 months ago

According to USA Swimming’s database, 19 times.

Konner Scott
Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

She’s probably hit it once or twice in practice too.

Sub13
2 months ago

It astounds me how confident people are in their predictions. Some Aussies seem to think Ariarne is going to sweep 200/400/800, and some Americans seem to think Katie is going to sweep 200/400/800/1500. Both camps seem to ignore times and say “oh but she wasn’t tapered at trials, she will 100% swim a PB and break every world record”.

To me, the times suggest a likely Ariarne 200 and likely Ledecky 1500. The 400 is a toss up but leaning Ariarne, and the 800 is close but leaning Katie (the 800 is probably safer for Katie than the 400 is for Ariarne).

I expect them to go 2 a piece and both swim really well, but I don’t expect them… Read more »

Mr Piano
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

I think that Titmus will win the 200 and 400, but Ledecky will take the 800 and 1500 without too much trouble. Titmus has too much speed for ledecky in the 400 right now.

Sub13
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 months ago

That is my prediction too, but nothing is for certain. The safest medal is the 1500 because it doesn’t rely on having a good start. While the 50 can literally be decided based on who has the best start (which can involve a little luck), it’s extremely unlikely to see a massive upset in the 1500 barring the favourite being sick or injured.

Ger
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

It’s tough. It’s the same session as the 200m free final.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Ger
2 months ago

Katie Ledecky can always scratch the women’s 200 meter freestyle as was the case at the 2013 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 months ago

The same was said of Cate Campbell in the final of the women’s 100 meter freestyle at the 2016 Summer Olympics dated 11 Aug 2016 after breaking the world record in the women’s 100 meter freestyle dated 02 Jul 2016.

Sub13
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

What’s the correlation there? One Australian choked in Rio and therefore all Australians will choke at the Olympics always? It’s strange how obsessed some people are with Cate Campbell and use her to justify any prediction they have lol.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Oh really, only one Aussie at the 2016 Rio Olympics? Guess again. How many times was an Aussie female situated in lane 4 or lane 5 in the final of an individual event only fail to medal altogether at the 2016 Rio Olympics?

Last edited 2 months ago by Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Robbos
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Campbell choked, McEvoy choked, but Chalmers won anyway. Who else, Seebohm & C2 were both injured & Larkin was beaten by a better swimmer.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

Reading comprehension issues?

2016 Rio Olympics
Aussie female
Individual event final
Lane 4 or Lane 5

Try again.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago
Sub13
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

I know that. I’ve predicted Katie will win it but it will be close. Ariarne swam less than second slower than Katie did in trials. I would call that “close” in an 800m race even if I think it’s relatively safe for Katie. I don’t understand your point?

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Katie Ledecky was not tapered at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Robbos
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

See Sub13, he is expecting or hoping, every Aussie, well especially Titmus, McKeown & Mckeon all choke like Campbell did in RIO.

Sub13
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

Literally any discussion about USA and Aussie swimmers just involves Hswimmer, swimt, superswimmer2000 or Yozhik (and now this person) saying “Americans weren’t tapered, Aussies will choke 100%”. It’s really weird and pathetic lol.

If one of the American favourites loses i hope that everyone else will have a bit more class than the Americans instead of bringing it up constantly when it’s not relevant.

Robbos
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Don’t the Pandemic & the OTS.

Sub13
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

I guarantee you if the Aussies over perform or the Americans underperform this site will be full of 2 things

1. “It’s because of the pandemic”

2. “Yeah well you didn’t choke but we still got more medals”.

Quote me LOL

dresselgoat
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

How are the Aussies results at the last Olympics not relevant in a discussion about the upcoming Olympics?

Last edited 2 months ago by dresselgoat
Sub13
Reply to  dresselgoat
2 months ago

How is one person’s performance in one race relevant to a different person in a different race at their first Olympics? Literally any Aussie who has a good time is met with “BuT cAtE cAmPbElL”.

It’s literally like me saying “Oh Katie lost the 400 at worlds and therefore Dressel is going to lose 100 fly”. It’s so stupid and it’s literally the only thing Americans on here have to say about any Aussie swimmer. As if all of the swimmers of a given country have the same brain and same body.

Here’s a tip: NO ONE HAS F***ING FORGOTTEN WHAT HAPPENED TO CATE CAMPBELL IN RIO. IF YOU FIND YOURSELF WANTING TO MENTION IT, IT’S NOT NECESSARY BECAUSE WE… Read more »

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

Not as big of a choke job as Leisel Jones at the 2012 London Olympics.

SHG
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

How can you possibly say she ‘choked’. This was her 4th Olympics – Gold, Silver and Bronze at the previous three and she was in no way the ‘favourite’ for this event in London. This was her last Olympics and she was super happy with the fifth placing. Still went home with a silver medal from the relay. A very successful Olympic career overall. Stop talking crap.

commonwombat
Reply to  SHG
2 months ago

Jones’ Olympic window had closed by 2010 and in London she basically swam to what she then was, finals level rather than medal standard. She may’ve medalled at 2011 Worlds but her times were well off her prime.

Had SKHM stated Jones choked in Athens, THEN they’d have hit a bulls-eye but …..

dresselgoat
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

it’s not close – Katie has been 10 seconds faster… I like your crazy worldview though

Robbos
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Manuel never broke 53 seconds before RIO!!! Your point?

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

A time of 52.70 in the final of the women’s 100 meter freestyle at the 2016 Summer Olympics versus the world record time in the women’s 100 meter freestyle of 52.06 dated 02 Jul 2016. No comparison whatsoever. Keep grasping at straws.

Jamie5678
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Titmus’s best time of 8.15 was set at the Australian trials a few weeks ago. The key statistic there though is that she negative split her race. This is partly because she tends to drift in the middle sections of the race and partly because she’s inexperienced at pacing fast 800s.
 
Titmus took her trials swim out in 4.08 (in comparison Ledecky -swimming more conventionally- was 4.03 at midpoint at trials). 4.08 is dawdling for someone who went 3.56 a few days earlier.

They ultimately finished within 1 second of each other meaning that Titmus closed some 4 seconds in the back half – precisely the part of the race where Ledecky will try to break… Read more »

Meow
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

This right here is the correct take.

Paul
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

I think Titmus 200 and 400, Grimes 800, Ledecky 1500.

TeamDressel
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Ledecky was not herself at trials. She swam slower in the 400 than she has been in season. We can’t doubt just because trials performance was “sub-par”

Troyy
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

That’s a pretty good reason to doubt

Sub13
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

Just to clarify: in your mind, doubting every Australian swimmer because of a Cate Campbell race 5 years ago makes sense. However, doubting Ledecky based on actual recent results doesn’t make sense.

That’s an interesting perspective.

TeamDressel
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Lmao I didn’t say anything about Australian swimmers. I am only talking about Ledecky and her sub-par performances at trials. She was probably a little rested but the rest she got clearly didn’t really help her at all.

TeamDressel
2 months ago

Ledecky clearly didn’t have a good trials and it’s highly probable that didn’t rest much. If she’s on she’ll win the 200, 400, 800, and 1500. Although the 200 will be battle either way. I can see her going 1:53 low, 3:54, 8:02, and 15:15 assuming she’s at her best

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

Why would Katie Ledecky taper for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials when Katie Ledecky posted the fastest times in the W 200 FR, W 400 FR, W 800 FR, W 1500 FR of any domestic swimmer in season during calendar year 2021? As a matter of fact, the aforementioned times posted in season during calendar year 2021 are faster than the personal best times of any active domestic swimmer not named Allison Schmitt (whose personal best time in the women’s 200 meter freestyle was dated at the 2012 Summer Olympics).

BilesNoGravity
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Have we ever considered the idea that Ledecky’s ‘sort of rest’ (per her press conference before the meet) perhaps put her in an awkward place to race physically? And some more training with legitimate rest may set her up for more success? Seems like brief rest (Ledecky in season times) or full rest (2016 &17) might work best for her? She has consistently said she’s been training her best ever. There’s no reason for all these folks to doubt her just yet.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  BilesNoGravity
2 months ago

Compare Ledecky’s times in the final of the women’s 200 meter freestyle, women’s 400 meter freestyle, women’s 800 meter freestyle at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials to the times in the final of women’s 200 meter freestyle, women’s 400 meter freestyle, women’s 800 meter freestyle at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Katie Ledecky was not tapered at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Trials vs Olympics
1:54.88 vs 1:53.73 (PB)
3:58.98 vs 3:56.46 (PB)
8:10.32 vs 8:04.79 (PB)

Robbos
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

Ledecky 2021
Trials
1:55.11
4:01.27
8:14.62

Lets give Ledecky same improvement for 2021 Olympics
1.53.96
3.58.72
8.09.12

Titmus still has her covered in 200 & 400.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

funny, you said the exact same thing about huske and curzan when they posted great in season free times, which didnt end up translating to good trials results in those events at all

Last edited 2 months ago by Old Man Chalmers
Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

yes really. i specified freestyle events, where both their best times in the 100 (done this season btw) were fast enough to win trials, and they both miss the 100 final. curzan’s 50 time would also have won trials by .1, yet she didnt qualify in that event either. yet your counterpoint is resorting to fly times, which i said nothing about. but I’ll play along. curzan supposedly didnt taper for that random meet where she went 56.2, yet she was slower at trials which is hailed as the hardest swim meet in the world. and I’d argue that one of a nation’s top freestylers (who goes a pair of 55 flys in the same meet) missing a weak 100… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Old Man Chalmers
TeamDressel
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
2 months ago

That’s what I’m saying but she didn’t taper and also didn’t have a good trials hence her “sub-par” times.

Robbos
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

Titmus didn’t taper either, I see her going 1.52.5, 3.53.6 & 8.02.9
Silly how silly my predictions are, they is how most people see yours.

TeamDressel
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

That’s not gonna happen. Maybe 1:52 in the 200 but all the other times are outrageous. She can probably challenge the 2 free WR, go 3:56-3:57 in the 400, and 8:12 in the 800

Troyy
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

Wooosh

TeamDressel
Reply to  Robbos
2 months ago

She clearly did taper otherwise she wouldn’t have dropped in all of her events. She won’t go much faster at the Olympics. Ledecky on the other hand has the capability to go the times I stated. Just watch

Robbos
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

Why would she taper, she was well above any other possible qualifier.

M d e
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

Your predicted times are outrageous. Possibly the worst takes I’ve ever seen on here.

TeamDressel
Reply to  M d e
2 months ago

Just watch Ledecky is gonna dominate at the Olympics

TeamDressel
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

I don’t know why everyone is disliking. I said if she is on these times will happen. I’m not saying she will be on or at her best. I’m saying this is what she is capable of if she performs well

Sub13
Reply to  TeamDressel
2 months ago

It’s probably because there is no evidence to support your predictions at all. She hasn’t been close to her Rio swims ever again and you predict she’ll beat them all based on nothing. Yes it’s possible she will, but your predictions make no sense based on the evidence.

Coach
2 months ago

Katie’s had a rough go at some of her tapered meets over the past few years, but it’s not from lack of work or effort. Here’s to hoping that she meets her goals and has a successful experience in Tokyo.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Coach
2 months ago

Katie Ledecky was ill at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

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