PHOENIX, Arizona, June 24. should come as no surprise that we’re giving this week’s honors to Katie Ledecky. Who else would have surpassed what this 17-year-old did in The Woodlands, Texas, last week, breaking both of her long course world records.
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Just for the shock factor that came with the results of this race, we’re picking Katie’s 1500 free as the Performance of the Week. I can’t imagine there were many people outside of her close circle that knew she was chasing her world record from last year’s world championships, so when the meet hosts Tweeted out this photo of the scoreboard after the swim, the swimming community went into a frenzy. Her 15:34.23 broke the record she set less than a year ago by 2.3 seconds. Ledecky didn’t start to get under world record pace until the 700-meter mark, and the afterburners were on full blast after that, averaging 1:02 high for the next 700. At 800 meters, she turned at 8:16.18, a time that set a new U.S. Open record, breaking the 26-year-old record by Janet Evans. That record, by the way, only lasted a few days until Ledecky’s 8:11.00 to set the world record in the 800.
For those of you distance swimmers who want to know what a world record swim in the 1500 free looks like, we’re going to show you the final 100 meters of the race.
That was a 1:00.70 split on that final 100, an amazing burst of speed after 14 minutes of pretty much all-out swimming. Everyone is now wondering how much faster Katie can go in the event, and it is possible that we could see that 1500 world record get even lower at the Pan Pacific championships. But for now, let’s marvel at this remarkable swim and be amazed at Katie Ledecky’s immense talent.
Congratulations, Katie, on winning the Speedo Performance of the Week!