ZUMO Performance of the Week: Katie Ledecky Nails Down Fifth Fastest Performances All-Time in Routine 1500 in Des Moines

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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This week’s ZUMO Performance of the week goes to Katie Ledecky for her 15:29 in the 1500 freestyle at the TYR Pro Swim Series this past weekend in Des Moines.

Original report by John Lohn.

A month ahead of the start of Olympic Trials season around the world, American distance ace Katie Ledecky put down an impressive marker in the 1500-meter freestyle to open action at the TYR Pro Series stop in Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday night. Unchallenged and racing only the clock, Ledecky produced a time of 15:29.51, the fifth-fastest performance in history.

When the 1500 freestyle makes its debut as a women’s event at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Ledecky will be the heavy favorite for the gold medal, and her effort in Des Moines served as a reminder of how dominant Ledecky is in the event. Ledecky now owns the 10-fastest performances of all-time and her world record of 15:20.48 sits 18 seconds clear of Denmark’s Lotte Friis, the No. 2-ranked performer in history.

As usual, Ledecky attacked the race from the start, splitting 2:01.32 at the 200-meter mark and 4:06.40 at the 400-meter mark. At 800 meters, Ledecky touched on the feet in 8:16.23, a mere hundredth of a second slower than the best time ever recorded by distance legend Janet Evans. Placing second was United States National Teamer Leah Smith (16:16.34), with Chile’s Kristel Kobrich finishing third in 16:22.35.

At last summer’s World Championships, Ledecky was unable to defend her three consecutive global titles in the 1500 freestyle when a stomach virus forced her withdrawal from the event. But with a little more than three months before the United States Olympic Trials, Ledecky is in fine form on the road to Tokyo.

“It was good. I thought I would have a good time based on what I was going in training,” Ledecky said. “It’s six seconds faster than I was in December, so it’s good to see progress there.”

The time was faster than what Simona Quadarella swam to win the World Championships gold this past summer, when the Italian swam a 15:40 for fourth all-time. Ledecky continues to swim effortlessly away from the rest of the world and that is why she is the recipient of the ZUMO Performance of the Week.

Fastest Performances All-Time – Women’s 1500 Free:

  1. 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky, 2018
  2. 15:25.48, Katie Ledecky, 2015
  3. 15:27.71, Katie Ledecky, 2015
  4. 15:28.36, Katie Ledecky, 2014
  5. 15:29.51, Katie Ledecky, 2020

2020 Performers – Women’s 1500 Free

  1. 15:29.51, Katie Ledecky, USA
  2. 16:01.71, Erica Sullivan, USA
  3. 16:03.76, Sarah Kohler, GER
  4. 16:10.70, Martina Caramignoli, ITA
  5. 16:15.12, Diana Duraes, POR

Ledecky has the potential to cement herself as the greatest female swimmer in history if she can win her third straight 800 freestyle crown this summer in the Tokyo Olympic Games. She already sits among the sport’s greats alongside past distance greats Debbie MeyerJanet Evans and Rebecca Adlington, all whom she continues to look up to as evident by her recent tweet on Sunday recognizing Swimming World’s celebration of International Women’s Day.

Congratulations to Katie Ledecky on winning the ZUMO Performance of the Week!

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