Best Race of All Time? Katie Ledecky Overpowers Lotte Friis for World Record

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BARCELONA, Spain, July 30. IN what quite possibly could be the best race of all time, USA’s Katie Ledecky hugged Denmark’s Lotte Friis’ hip until firing away down the stretch as both swimmers obliterated Kate Ziegler’s world record in the women’s 1500-meter freestyle finals at the FINA World Championships.

Ledecky, who is now three-for-three in international event finals having won the 800 at the Olympics and posted a textile best in the 400 free earlier this week, set the pace early and forced Friis to come along for an epic adventure. Friis, however, responded well by taking the lead at the 300-meter mark as the top two swimmers went out under the world record pace at nearly six seconds at one point.

Ledecky never let Friis get much space throughout the next 1000 meters before pouring on the afterburners at the 1300-meter mark to take over the lead for good. She then threw down an epic 29.47 final 50 as an exclamation point as she claimed the oldest standing world record in the books with an astonishing time of 15:36.53.

Friis, meanwhile, easily captured the European record with a scintillating time of her own with a 15:38.88. Incredibly, her 800-meter split of 8:17.16 now stands as the eighth-fastest time in the world in that event, while Ledecky’s 8:17.33 is ninth best.

The lucky fans in attendance nearly saw an all-world record podium as New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle threw down a sterling third-place 15:44.71 time of her own, and was under world record pace until the 1400, but didn’t have enough in the tank to catch Ziegler’s amazing final push. The podium still managed to produce the first, second and fourth fastest times all time.

Comparative Splits
Ledecky
50m ﴾1﴿ 28.14 100m ﴾1﴿ 58.75 30.61 150m ﴾1﴿ 1:29.33 30.58 200m ﴾1﴿ 2:00.05 30.72 250m ﴾1﴿ 2:31.21 31.16 300m ﴾2﴿ 3:02.97 31.76 350m ﴾2﴿ 3:34.47 31.50 400m ﴾2﴿ 4:05.89 31.42 450m ﴾2﴿ 4:37.20 31.31 500m ﴾2﴿ 5:08.70 31.50 550m ﴾2﴿ 5:40.03 31.33 600m ﴾2﴿ 6:11.39 31.36 650m ﴾2﴿ 6:42.86 31.47 700m ﴾2﴿ 7:14.29 31.43 750m ﴾2﴿ 7:45.82 31.53 800m ﴾2﴿ 8:17.33 31.51 850m ﴾2﴿ 8:48.95 31.62 900m ﴾2﴿ 9:20.48 31.53 950m ﴾2﴿ 9:52.36 31.88 1000m ﴾2﴿ 10:23.66 31.30 1050m ﴾2﴿ 10:55.26 31.60 1100m ﴾2﴿ 11:26.91 31.65 1150m ﴾2﴿ 11:58.53 31.62 1200m ﴾2﴿ 12:30.27 31.74 1250m ﴾2﴿ 13:01.75 31.48 1300m ﴾1﴿ 13:33.48 31.73 1350m ﴾1﴿ 14:04.82 31.34 1400m ﴾1﴿ 14:36.06 31.24 1450m ﴾1﴿ 15:07.06 31.00 (1) 15:36.53 29.47

Friis
50m ﴾2﴿ 28.39 100m ﴾2﴿ 59.15 30.76 150m ﴾2﴿ 1:29.64 30.49 200m ﴾2﴿ 2:00.71 31.07 250m ﴾2﴿ 2:31.58 30.87 300m ﴾1﴿ 3:02.86 31.28 350m ﴾1﴿ 3:34.00 31.14 400m ﴾1﴿ 4:05.26 31.26 450m ﴾1﴿ 4:36.46 31.20 500m ﴾1﴿ 5:07.97 31.51 550m ﴾1﴿ 5:39.10 31.13 600m ﴾1﴿ 6:10.68 31.58 650m ﴾1﴿ 6:42.14 31.46 700m ﴾1﴿ 7:13.98 31.84 750m ﴾1﴿ 7:45.31 31.33 800m ﴾1﴿ 8:17.16 31.85 850m ﴾1﴿ 8:48.73 31.57 900m ﴾1﴿ 9:20.47 31.74 950m ﴾1﴿ 9:52.03 31.56 1000m ﴾1﴿ 10:23.61 31.58 1050m ﴾1﴿ 10:55.09 31.48 1100m ﴾1﴿ 11:26.85 31.76 1150m ﴾1﴿ 11:58.33 31.48 1200m ﴾1﴿ 12:30.11 31.78 1250m ﴾1﴿ 13:01.67 31.56 1300m ﴾2﴿ 13:33.54 31.87 1350m ﴾2﴿ 14:04.92 31.38 1400m ﴾2﴿ 14:36.54 31.62 1450m ﴾2﴿ 15:08.13 31.59 (2) 15:38.88 30.75

Ziegler
29.23, 1:00.49 (31.26), 1:32.09 (31.60), 2:03.46 (31.37), 2:35.17 (31.71) 3:06.74 (31.57), 3:38.34 (31.60), 4:09.87 (31.53), 4:41.41 (31.54), 5:13.01 (31.60) 5:44.80 (31.79), 6:16.48 (31.68), 6:48.07 (31.59), 7:19.63 (31.56), 7:51.06 (31.43) 8:22.57 (31.51), 8:53.91 (31.34), 9:25.42 (31.51), 9:57.07 (31.65), 10:28.74 (31.67) 11:00.19 (31.45), 11:31.70 (31.51), 12:03.42 (31.72), 12:35.17 (31.75), 13:06.55 (31.38) 13:38.54 (31.99), 14:10.13 (31.59), 14:41.85 (31.72), 15:13.27 (31.42), 15:42.54 (29.27)

Boyle
50m ﴾6﴿ 29.47 100m ﴾3﴿ 1:00.69 31.22 150m ﴾3﴿ 1:32.40 31.71 200m ﴾3﴿ 2:03.89 31.49 250m ﴾3﴿ 2:35.96 32.07 300m ﴾3﴿ 3:07.45 31.49 350m ﴾3﴿ 3:39.36 31.91 400m ﴾3﴿ 4:11.11 31.75 450m ﴾3﴿ 4:42.96 31.85 500m ﴾3﴿ 5:14.70 31.74 550m ﴾3﴿ 5:46.29 31.59 600m ﴾3﴿ 6:17.71 31.42 650m ﴾3﴿ 6:49.33 31.62 700m ﴾3﴿ 7:20.71 31.38 750m ﴾3﴿ 7:52.18 31.47 800m ﴾3﴿ 8:23.46 31.28 850m ﴾3﴿ 8:54.97 31.51 900m ﴾3﴿ 9:26.05 31.08 950m ﴾3﴿ 9:57.43 31.38 1000m ﴾3﴿ 10:28.80 31.37 1050m ﴾3﴿ 11:00.54 31.74 1100m ﴾3﴿ 11:31.86 31.32 1150m ﴾3﴿ 12:03.60 31.74 1200m ﴾3﴿ 12:34.81 31.21 1250m ﴾3﴿ 13:06.57 31.76 1300m ﴾3﴿ 13:37.91 31.34 1350m ﴾3﴿ 14:09.82 31.91 1400m ﴾3﴿ 14:41.64 31.82 1450m ﴾3﴿ 15:13.75 32.11 (3) 15:44.71 30.96

Ziegler’s 15:42.54 held up even through the insanity of the techsuit era that produced more than 200 world records in a single year, but Ziegler’s swim will always have a special place as she did it with the backdrop of Mission Viejo as part of the TYR Swim Meet of Champions in 2007. This was a bit of a halcyon time for the sport as it was prior to Twitter overtaking the sport as well as online video and streaming making a big push. It took a swim fan named Lauren Nave to chronicle the end of the swim with her video camera.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia wound up taking fourth in 15:58.83 as the only other sub-16:00 swimmer of the night.

China’s Xu Danlu (16:00.44), Chile’s Kristel Kobrich Schimpl (16:01.94), Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas (16:06.89) and USA’s Chloe Sutton (16:09.65) also competed in the amazing finale.

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Author: Archive Team

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