Katie Ledecky won the 1500-meter freestyle on Tuesday at the world championships, putting her into a tie with Michael Phelps for the most individual swimming gold medals at worlds with 15.
The 26-year-old Ledecky won the race by a whopping 17.04 seconds over second-place finisher Italian Simona Quadarella at the meet in Fukuoka, Japan.
Ledecky’s race was clocked at 15:26.27, the third-best time in history. The two better times also belong to Ledecky, who holds the top 16 times in the event, despite having swum the event just 24 times in the finals in the past decade.
“I’m just really enjoying swimming right now, especially my distance events. I’ve just been feeling great,” Ledecky said on Peacock. “I feel like I’m getting better each time I swim them. That’s what you love to see. You love to see improvement, and that’s been my biggest goal over the last couple of years.”
A Maryland native, Ledecky is also the first person to win five world titles in two different events — the 800-meter freestyle and the 1500-meter freestyle.
She has a chance to move past Phelps for the most individual world championship gold medals should she qualify for Saturday’s 800-meter freestyle final. She also would become the only person to win six world titles in one event if she wins that race.
When including relay events, Ledecky’s 24 total world championships medals and 20 golds are both records for females. The overall record of 33 medals and 26 golds belong to Phelps.
–Field Level Media