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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.

Go deeper

Sep 5, 2021 - Sports

U.S. beats China for Paralympics gold in women's sitting volleyball

Team USA's Alexis Shifflett serves the ball during the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball pool match against Rwanda in Chiba, Japan, on Aug. 28. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Team USA won gold in the Tokyo Paralympic Games women's sitting volleyball final on Sunday morning local time.

The big picture: The defending champions beat China 3-1 in the final. After the event was added to the Paralympics in 2004, China won the first three golds. The Americans' win took the U.S. Paralympic medals tally to 103, including 36 golds.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of China's previous wins in the event.

1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.