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Team USA's Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the final of the women's 1,500m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

Go deeper

Medicine's trust problem among women

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The lingering legacy of clinical trials failing to include women as participants, combined with frequent gaslighting by doctors and a general lack of research on women's bodies, has led many to mistrust medicine.

Why it matters: This mistrust plus a constant barrage of misinformation can influence women's health decisions, including deciding not to follow recommendations for the COVID-19 vaccine.

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these recommendations with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.