Jul 31, 2021 - Sports

American Katie Ledecky wins Olympic gold in women's 800m freestyle

USA's Katie Ledecky reacts after taking gold in the final of the women's 800m freestyle race. Photo: Odd Anderson
USA's Katie Ledecky reacts after taking gold in the final of the women's 800m freestyle race. Photo: Odd Anderson/AFP via Getty Images

American superstar swimmer Katie Ledecky grabbed her second gold medal of this year's Olympic Games, winning the women's 800-meter freestyle race Saturday in Tokyo.

Driving the news: Ledecky, who holds the world record in the 800m freestyle, is considered one of the best women swimmers of all time. Saturday's final marks her third straight Olympic gold in the event.

  • On Saturday, she finished with a time of 8:12.57 to win her sixth career individual Olympic gold.
  • The 800m freestyle has been the 24-year-old's signature event since 2012, when she won her first Olympic gold at age 15.
  • Ledecky, who has broken 14 world records, embraced her competitors after the event, including 15-year-old teammate Katie Grimes.

What she's saying: "I just wanted to finish on a really good note, and I'm so happy," she told NBC News.

  • "That is not my last swim," she added. "I'm at least going to 2024, maybe 2028, we'll see ... You never know if you'll be back at the next Olympics, so just trying to soak it all in."

The big picture: Australia's Ariarne Titmus, whose friendly rivalry with Ledecky was closely watched, won the 800m freestyle silver and Italy's Simona Quadarella took bronze.

  • Earlier this week, Ledecky snagged gold in the first-ever women's 1500m freestyle and took home silver medals in the 400m freestyle and the 4x2100m freestyle relay.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

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