FLASH! Katie Ledecky Destroys Short-Course World Record In 800 Freestyle

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FLASH! Katie Ledecky Destroys Short-Course World Record In 800 Freestyle

One week after she set a short-course world record in the 1500-meter freestyle, Katie Ledecky added the global standard in the 800 freestyle to her lengthy list of achievements on Saturday night. The American distance ace overwhelmed the field at the FINA World Cup in Indianapolis, clocking a time of 7:57.42. That performance bettered the previous world record of 7:59.34, set in 2013 by Spain’s Mireia Belmonte.

As was the case in the 1500 freestyle in Toronto, Ledecky was under world-record pace from the opening lap. She went out in 57.09 for the opening 100 meters and made the turn at the 200-meter mark in 1:56.63. When the 25-year-old hit the midway point of the race, Ledecky was more than three seconds ahead of record pace, thanks to a split of 3:56.64. While she dropped back slightly over the back half of the race, Ledecky had plenty of cushion over Belmonte’s former standard.

“After last week, I was really happy with the mile. I had a moment where I wish I swam the 800, too, because I had this whole week where I was thinking about this opportunity, kind of putting pressure on myself. I wanted to deliver for the home fans,” Ledecky said. “Each (world record) is special and has a different story and I try to enjoy each one.”

Heading into the race, Ledecky was considered a lock to set her second world record of the World Cup series. After all, during her record-breaking swim in the 1500 free, Ledecky went through the 800-meter mark in 8:00.58. That split was an American record and just more than a second off Belmonte’s nine-year-old time. More, Ledecky’s world record in the long-course version of the 800 freestyle sits at 8:04.79, which converts to 7:53.49 in short-course meters.

With her latest record, Ledecky now owns the fastest times in history in the two-longest events of every format – long course, short-course meters and short-course yards. In SCY, Ledecky’s best times in the 1000 freestyle and 1650 freestyle are complemented by a record in the 500 freestyle.

Finishing in second place was Canadian Summer McIntosh, the 16-year-old standout who edged Ledecky in the 400 freestyle last week. McIntosh was timed in 8:07.12.