Updated Jul 28, 2021 - Sports
Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle
Katie Ledecky took home the Olympic gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming race Tuesday night ET, becoming the first female swimmer to win the newly added division. Team USA's Erica Sullivan won silver.
Of note: The Tokyo Games mark the first time that the long-distance race has been open to women, and Ledecky paid tribute to her predecessors after the race. "I just think of all the great U.S. swimmers who didn’t have a chance to swim that event," she said on NBC.
- The race's inclusion is part of an effort to make the Games more gender-equal "by incorporating new events for women and more mixed-gender teams in various sports," per ABC News.
- Since it was the first time the race had taken place at the Olympics, her time automatically set an Olympic record, per the Washington Post.
The big picture: Ledecky is the women's 1500m world record holder and held the 11 fastest times ever going into the event at the Olympics.
- She dominated the 1500m in the event's heats. Earlier in the day, Ledecky finished fifth in the 200m freestyle race.
- "I just wanted to get the job done tonight," Ledecky said on NBC. "It was really tough with the 200, but I just moved the page forward."
Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Ledecky.