Katie Ledecky Smashes 400 Free World Record, Nearly Clears 3:58! (Pan Pacific Championships Results)

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

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GOLD COAST, Australia, August 23.

While USA’s Katie Ledecky went out like a banshee at U.S. Nationals en route to breaking Federica Pellegrini’s world record of 3:59.15 with her 3:58.86 from Irvine, tonight Ledecky took her record-breaking swim just a bit differently.  Actually training the world-record pace through the 300, Ledecky came roaring home in 30.33, 29.30 to nearly take the world record under 3:58 with a ridiculously fast 3:58.37 this evening.

Not only did that swim break Ledecky’s world record, it also smashed the Australian All-Comers record of 4:02.61 set by Laure Manaudou back in 2007, and lowered Ledecky’s Pan Pacs mark of 4:03.09 from this morning.

There’s little doubt that Ledecky is the best distance freestyler of all time.  As the world-record holder in the 400-800-1500 free, that’s a pretty strong argument, but her consistency and ability to break a world record at nearly any meet she decides to do it is just remarkable.

It’s actually Ledecky’s fourth world-record performance of the summer after also taking down the 800 and 1500 freestyle marks at The Woodlands Senior Invite earlier this summer.

USA’s Cierra Runge took silver in 4:04.55, while New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle placed third in 4:05.33.

Canada’s Brittany MacLean (4:05.91), Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto (4:07.51), Australia’s Bronte Barratt (4:10.40), Australia’s Alanna Bowles (4:10.58) and Canada’s Samantha Cheverton (4:12.25) also swam in the historic heat.

Former World Record Splits:

28.03, 57.74 (29.71), 1:27.67 (29.93), 1:57.72 (30.05), 2:27.95 (30.23), 2:58.40 (30.45), 3:29.41 (31.01), 3:58.86 (29.45)

A Final Results (including world record):

  1 LEDECKY, KATIE   17 UNITED STATES     4:03.09    3:58.37W 1009  
    r:+0.70  27.85        57.87 (30.02)
        1:27.91 (30.04)     1:58.30 (30.39)
        2:28.37 (30.07)     2:58.74 (30.37)
        3:29.07 (30.33)     3:58.37 (29.30)
  2 RUNGE, CIERRA    18 UNITED STATES     4:06.73    4:04.55.  935  
    r:+0.79  28.48        59.04 (30.56)
        1:30.05 (31.01)     2:01.14 (31.09)
        2:32.55 (31.41)     3:03.57 (31.02)
        3:34.44 (30.87)     4:04.55 (30.11)
  3 BOYLE, LAUREN    26 NEW ZEALAND       4:08.64    4:05.33   926  
    r:+0.74  29.05        59.78 (30.73)
        1:31.05 (31.27)     2:02.16 (31.11)
        2:33.19 (31.03)     3:04.46 (31.27)
        3:35.46 (31.00)     4:05.33 (29.87)
  4 MACLEAN, BRITTA  20 CANADA            4:09.75    4:05.91   919  
    r:+0.75  28.50        59.19 (30.69)
        1:30.35 (31.16)     2:01.91 (31.56)
        2:33.24 (31.33)     3:04.69 (31.45)
        3:35.73 (31.04)     4:05.91 (30.18)
  5 PINTO, ANDREINA  22 VENEZUELA         4:07.48    4:07.51   902  
    r:+0.75  28.99        59.99 (31.00)
        1:31.36 (31.37)     2:02.86 (31.50)
        2:34.34 (31.48)     3:05.58 (31.24)
        3:36.71 (31.13)     4:07.51 (30.80)
  6 BARRATT, BRONTE  25 AUSTRALIA         4:09.30    4:10.40   871  
    r:+0.69  28.84        59.80 (30.96)
        1:30.99 (31.19)     2:02.82 (31.83)
        2:34.51 (31.69)     3:06.82 (32.31)
        3:38.72 (31.90)     4:10.40 (31.68)
  7 BOWLES, ALANNA   16 AUSTRALIA         4:09.53    4:10.58   869  
    r:+0.80  29.27      1:00.39 (31.12)
        1:31.89 (31.50)     2:03.62 (31.73)
        2:35.27 (31.65)     3:07.06 (31.79)
        3:39.15 (32.09)     4:10.58 (31.43)
  8 CHEVERTON, SAMA  26 CANADA            4:14.44    4:12.25   852  
    r:+0.72  29.47      1:01.53 (32.06)
        1:33.25 (31.72)     2:05.29 (32.04)
        2:36.94 (31.65)     3:08.97 (32.03)
        3:41.04 (32.07)     4:12.25 (31.21)

USA’s Leah Smith opened up the night with a dominant effort in the consolation heat.  She smashed the rest of the field with a 4:06.91, a bit off her season best of 4:06.28 from U.S. Nationals that ranked her 15th coming into the meet.

Australia’s Jessica Ashwood finished second in 4:10.14, while Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi took third in 4:13.72.

The next pack came in with New Zealand’s Samantha Lucie-Smith (4:15.19), New Zealand’s emma Robinson (4:15.92), Japan’s Aya Takano (4:16.07) and Japan’s Yasuko Miyamoto (4:16.38) all jockeying for position.  Canada’s Tabitha Baumann checked in with a 4:23.47 for the final spot in the heat.

B Final Results

  9 SMITH, LEAH      19 UNITED STATES     4:07.77    4:06.91   908  
    r:+0.75  28.89        59.69 (30.80)
        1:30.61 (30.92)     2:02.08 (31.47)
        2:33.49 (31.41)     3:05.17 (31.68)
        3:36.40 (31.23)     4:06.91 (30.51)
 10 ASHWOOD, JESSIC  21 AUSTRALIA         4:12.08    4:10.14   873  
    r:+0.74  29.17      1:00.46 (31.29)
        1:32.27 (31.81)     2:04.23 (31.96)
        2:36.12 (31.89)     3:08.18 (32.06)
        3:39.76 (31.58)     4:10.14 (30.38)
 11 IGARASHI, CHIHI  19 JAPAN             4:16.28    4:13.72   837  
    r:+0.65  28.87      1:00.02 (31.15)
        1:31.92 (31.90)     2:04.25 (32.33)
        2:36.86 (32.61)     3:09.53 (32.67)
        3:41.93 (32.40)     4:13.72 (31.79)
 12 LUCIE-SMITH, SA  22 NEW ZEALAND       4:18.49    4:15.19   823  
    r:+0.80  29.87      1:01.49 (31.62)
        1:33.94 (32.45)     2:06.32 (32.38)
        2:39.03 (32.71)     3:11.46 (32.43)
        3:43.98 (32.52)     4:15.19 (31.21)
 13 ROBINSON, EMMA   19 NEW ZEALAND       4:16.63    4:15.92   816  
    r:+0.76  29.74      1:01.66 (31.92)
        1:33.96 (32.30)     2:06.57 (32.61)
        2:39.39 (32.82)     3:12.23 (32.84)
        3:44.91 (32.68)     4:15.92 (31.01)
 14 TAKANO, AYA      20 JAPAN             4:14.63    4:16.07   814  
    r:+0.75  29.28      1:01.11 (31.83)
        1:33.16 (32.05)     2:05.76 (32.60)
        2:38.30 (32.54)     3:11.37 (33.07)
        3:44.20 (32.83)     4:16.07 (31.87)
 15 MIYAMOTO, YASUK  19 JAPAN             4:16.63    4:16.38   811  
    r:+0.76  29.46      1:01.19 (31.73)
        1:33.31 (32.12)     2:05.79 (32.48)
        2:38.57 (32.78)     3:11.74 (33.17)
        3:44.61 (32.87)     4:16.38 (31.77)
 16 BAUMANN, TABITH  19 CANADA            4:20.20    4:23.47   747  
    r:+0.72  29.42      1:02.03 (32.61)
        1:34.97 (32.94)     2:08.63 (33.66)
        2:42.33 (33.70)     3:16.29 (33.96)
        3:50.02 (33.73)     4:23.47 (33.45)

 

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Rdunne

    Regarding your assertion that “there’s little doubt that Ledecky is the greatest distance swimmer of all time”…slow down with that pronouncement. Give it some time. Janet Evans and Katie each set 6 world LC records in the 400/800/1500. Each of Janet’s records stood for over 18 years; longer that Katie has been alive. Janet has more Olympic, World Championship, NCAA and US National gold than Katie. And, by the time Debbie Meyer was Katie’s age she had set 14 world records in the 400/800/1500 (Katie has 6); Debbie had won three olympic gold to Katie’s one. I’d say there is plenty of doubt at this early stage of Katie’s career. Katie will get there but let’s not be in such a rush. Katie doesn’t need the pressure and Janet (Debbie too) deserves the respect.

Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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