2013worldsspeedo Katie Ledecky
Courtesy of: Joan Marc Bosch
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BARCELONA, Spain, July 28. WITH a near world-record outing in the women's 400-meter freestyle, USA's Katie Ledecky assured with 100-percent certainty, that her Olympic gold medal performance in 2012 was not a fluke. Tonight, she uncorked a textile best in the middle-distance event with the second time under 4:00 ever in the 400-meter free.

Ledecky, who charted a stunning 8:14.63 to win the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle, last summer, turned in an American record and textile best time of 3:59.82 tonight.

50m ﴾1﴿ 28.05 100m ﴾1﴿ 58.12 30.07 150m ﴾1﴿ 1:28.25 30.13 200m ﴾1﴿ 1:58.74 30.49 250m ﴾1﴿ 2:28.85
30.11 300m ﴾1﴿ 2:59.29 30.44 350m ﴾1﴿ 3:29.94 30.65 400m (1) 3:59.82 29.88

Her final split of 29.88 is truly impressive as she secured her spot atop the textile mountain in the event with that final surge. While she missed Federica Pellegrini's world record of 3:59.14 from the techsuit era in 2009, Ledecky did crush the previous textile best of 4:01.13 set by Camille Muffat in France in March of 2012. Incidentally, Ledecky also pushed Allison Schmitt out of the American record spot, thumping Schott's 4:01.77 from the 2012 London Olympics. That gives Ledecky her second long course American record, and it is only a matter of time before she tracks down Pellegrini's record.

The only thing more surprising than Ledecky's dominant wire-to-wire swim is that she wasn't even the one who earned the biggest ovation. Spain's Melanie Costa Schmid earned a hero's applause with her silver-winning time of 4:02.47 to move to second in the world behind only Ledecky. Muffat had owned the previous world best with a 4:02.64 from Rome earlier this year. New Zealand's Lauren Boyle rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning time of 4:03.89.

Great Britain's Jazmin Carlin (4:04.03), Hungary's Boglarka Kapas (4:05.90), Venezuela's Andreina Pinto (4:07.14), Muffat (4:07.67) and Australia's Kylie Palmer (4:08.13) all put up strong times in the finale, but couldn't outshine Ledecky and Costa Schmid at the top.

Results: FINA World Championships: Women's 400 Free Finals

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