FINA World Championships Predictions: Women’s 1500 Free

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Katie Ledecky owns the women’s 1500 free. She has recorded the six fastest times in history in the event, and she has swum 13 seconds faster than any other woman. No reason to expect anyone to challenge her dominance at this summer’s FINA World Championships.

Ledecky is a threat to break a world record any time she touches the pool in a major international meet, but the mile record could come under particular fire as it was the only one of her three records she did not break (or have the opportunity to break) at the Rio Olympics.

Perhaps she won’t “accidentally” break a world record in prelims, as she did at the 2015 Worlds, but her own global standard could definitely be taken down in the final.

Read below to see what Swimming World’s trio of experts think will happen in Budapest. David RiederJohn Lohn and Andy Ross will each offer their predictions for who will finish on the podium.

Women’s 1500 Free

Current Records:

World Record: Katie Ledecky, USA (2015) — 15:25.48
Championship Record: Katie Ledecky, USA (2015) — 15:25.48
American Record: Katie Ledecky (2015) — 15:25.48

2015 World Champion: Katie Ledecky, USA — 15:25.48
2017 World No. 1: Katie Ledecky, USA — 15:35.65

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Katie Ledecky, USA
Silver: Boglarka Kapas, HUN
Bronze: Mireia Belmonte, ESP

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Katie Ledecky, USA
Silver: Boglarka Kapas, HUN
Bronze: Leah Smith, USA

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Katie Ledecky, USA
Silver: Boglarka Kapas, HUN
Bronze: Mireia Belmonte, ESP

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

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  1. avatar

    I hope Katie Ledecky has learned her lesson in Kazan and will make “1500 final – 200 semi” double as smooth as possible. If she is up to personal best (aka wr) then it’d better to do in prelim race day before. I personally want to see only one wr broken and that is 200 free. If Katie is ready to do it this season then she has to sacrifice 400 and especially 1500 races swimming them in cruise control mode for the win only.

    • avatar

      THE PROBLEM is KL has no CRUISE control….its 100%..CRUSH KILL DESTROY…just saying

      • avatar

        She isn’t such an aggressive in swimming young girl any more. She looks very mature now. Her personal bests are so tough that another approach is required to improve them. By her words “I ALMOST HAVE THAT EVENT DOWN TO A SCIENCE”
        Would be interesting to know what her plans are for this WC and if she can get at least to the form of her phenomenal 2016 season.

    • avatar

      I look for KL to do………ta da………..3:17, or less………..she will stop at NOTHING, to wow and amaze the swimming sports world………in coaching KL, Greg often goes from being a coach, to being a fan……….WOW……………..I suspect that she’s been swimming incredibly fast splits, is tapering……will have NO residual lactic acid by race time……..I see her as the best swimmer of the CENTURY………..I fished Curry out of the pile…………….he ain’t half bad? I started following Katie back at Stone Ridge……

  2. Brett Davies

    You all forgot about Leah Smith I reckon she might just surprise you all and take silver behind Ledecky

    • avatar

      I hope Bogi will win Silver.

  3. avatar

    winning by 30 seconds is not aggressive…understatement of the century…my point is she goes for it every time…Bruce basically told her to go easy on the 1500m FINAL in Kazan because of the 200m double…but she DEFIANTLY went out and set another world record…..that’s why at the end of the race shes like all flexed out yelling at the crowd….shes not going to sacrifice anything when she swims…and YES she will get that 200m WORLD record…

    • avatar

      Michael, I’m totally with you and I like to see Katie the way you describe her. My favorite race of her is 800 final in London. She was 4:04 – 4:10 there. She’s has never swum it this way again but followed coach’s instructions. The next time she “disobeyed” coach in Kazan with this World record at 1500. Only laziness of her opponents let her get through to the final with 1:56.76. When she was 7th at last turn of this semi-final my heart was broken. She was capable of 1:54 mid in Kazan (that she proved in a few months in Austin), but showed 1:55.16 only in final barely beating Pellegrini. The world record at 1500 at the level she does it is not a joke and takes its toll. I don’t have enough nerves to see her go through such a bottle neck again.

      • avatar

        yes I was having a moment myself during that 200m in kazan…yeah all the hype and then she was wrecked in the prelims…she STILL has the FEAR factor….just like when TIGER WOODS was hot in the early 2000’s…people BELIEVED he was unbeatable…and thats part of the reason he won so much …..the DAY KATIE loses her 1st indv race internationally will be the beginning of her decline…..BUT we have a long way to go before that happens…

      • avatar
        David Rieder

        I’m interested to see how she handles the double this time. A few reasons I don’t think this one will be quite as close a call as 2015: 1) I think she’ll have a tiny bit more time, which is good, and she’ll probably try to be top seed in the 200 to ensure she’s in SF2. 2) Katie is more used to racing doubles after this college season — remember her 400 IM/200 free B2B at Pac-12s? 3) She’s simply a lot better at the 200 free than she was in 2015 — 1.3 seconds faster Kazan to Rio.

  4. Halim Yussuf

    Katie is swimming against herself.

    • avatar

      not in the 200 shes not…..that race is DANGER written all over it…1 mistake and no room to make up for it…

  5. avatar

    David…agree…lol but she LOST the 200m at Pac-12s behind Simone….so I dont think that was a good race to quantify her getting better…lol….just saying

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