Katie Ledecky Smashes 1500 Free World Record on First Night of TYR Indianapolis Pro Swim Series

katie ledecky
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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It hasn’t happened since the 2016 Olympics. Katie Ledecky hadn’t broken a World Record since 2016 when she lit the world on fire in Rio with three individual gold medals and two world records. She has not been the same swimmer since she went to Stanford in the fall of 2016.

But in her first race as a professional swimmer, Ledecky broke the 1500 freestyle World Record that she set at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan with a 15:20.48 on a quiet Wednesday night at the TYR Indianapolis Pro Swim Series.

Ledecky took control early and was out under world record pace. How long could she hold on to that pace in an in-season meet? She built her way through the race and kept getting further and further under the record pace.

Ledecky broke her own world record that she set three years ago and is the sixth time she has broken the record in the event dating all the way back to 2013. It is also the largest margin the record has been broken since Ledecky took six seconds off at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships.

World Record Progression:

  • 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky, USA, 2018
  • 15:25.48, Ledecky, USA, August 2015
  • 15:27.71 (h), Ledecky, USA, August 2015
  • 15:28.36, Ledecky, USA, August 2014
  • 15:34.23, Ledecky, USA, June 2014
  • 15:36.54, Ledecky, USA, 2013
  • 15:42.54, Kate Ziegler, USA, 2007

Ledecky also now owns the eight fastest times ever in the event. She is now 28 seconds ahead of the second fastest performer ever, Lotte Friis of Denmark (15:38.88).

Top 10 Performances:

  1. Katie Ledecky15:20.48, USA, 2018
  2. Ledecky, 15:25.48, USA, 2015
  3. Ledecky, 15:27.71, USA, 2015
  4. Ledecky, 15:28.36, USA, 2014
  5. Ledecky, 15:31.82, USA, 2017
  6. Ledecky, 15:34.23, USA, 2014
  7. Ledecky, 15:35.65, USA, 2017
  8. Ledecky, 15:36.53, USA, 2013
  9. Lotte Friis, 15:38.88, DEN, 2013
  10. Lauren Boyle, 15:40.14, NZL, 2013

Top 10 Performers:

  1. Katie Ledecky15:20.48, USA, 2018
  2. Lotte Friis, 15:38.88, DEN, 2013
  3. Lauren Boyle, 15:40.14, NZL, 2013
  4. Kate Ziegler, 15:42.54, USA, 2007
  5. Alessia Filippi, 15:44.93, ITA, 2009
  6. Boglarka Kapas, 15:47.09, HUN, 2015
  7. Jazz Carlin, 15:47.26, GBR, 2013
  8. Mireia Belmonte, 15:50.89, ESP, 2017
  9. Janet Evans, 15:52.10, USA, 1988
  10. Jessica Ashwood, 15:52.17, AUS, 2015


  1. avatar

    What was the old record?

  2. avatar
    Dennis Boyd

    18 seconds

    • avatar
      Taylor Brien

      Whoops. Thanks for pointing that out! It’s been fixed.

      • avatar
        Sebastian Franck

        Has not

  3. Pat Kennedy

    Yet another amazing swim by the incredible Katie Ledecky!!!!

  4. avatar
    Alexander Gallant

    Katie you bad girl. Keep on stroking you a beautiful to watch.

  5. avatar
    Michael Maloney

    Where are ALL the TROLLS now…the ones who said she was DONE.. SHATTERING WORLD RECORDS………….yes that’s what we thought…..Congrats Katie….on turning PRO..lol

  6. avatar

    “Not been the same swimmer since she went to Stanford.” Yeah right…she’s better!!! (Not to mention the 11 American Records and 15 NCAA records, 8 NCAA titles, and two team championships in two years of college swimming).

    • Aron Parker

      Her last 100m was under a minute. .

  7. Susan Dally

    She is my inspiration to get back into swimming and relive my glory days from HS

  8. avatar
    Jj Jiva

    Her last 400 was 4:04.32!!! Wow!!!