Ledecky smashes own 1,500m record in pro de­but

The Borneo Post - - SPORT -

LOS ANGELES: Five- t ime Olympic swim­ming champion Katie Ledecky smashed her own 1,500m freestyle world record by five sec­onds on Wed­nes­day in her first race as a pro­fes­sional.

The 21- year- old Amer­i­can star touched the wall in 15min 20.48sec at the Pro Swim event in In­di­anapo­lis, oblit­er­at­ing her pre­vi­ous best of 15: 25.48 set at the World Cham­pi­onships in Kazan in 2015.

“I was pretty sur­prised when I saw the ‘ 20,’” Ledecky said with a lit­tle laugh, adding that she thought as the swim un­folded that she would be some­where un­der 15: 30, maybe.

“When I saw the 15: 20 I was pretty shocked,” she said.

This week’s meet in In­di­anapo­lis is Ledecky’s first since turn­ing pro­fes­sional fol­low­ing the NCAA col legiate cham­pi­onships in March.

“My first pro swim – that’s one I’ll never for­get,” said Ledecky, who added that so far she hadn’t felt any dif­fer­ent in her first meet as a pro­fes­sional.

Ledecky won gold in the 800m at the 2012 Olympics and fol­lowed it up with four golds and a sil­ver at the Rio Olympics two years ago.

The 1,500m free wi l l be in­tro­duced as an Olympic event for women at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Ledecky was un­der world-record pace for much of Wed­nes­day’s race and touched 49 sec­onds clear of the near­est fin­isher in her heat.

She now owns the eight fastest times in his­tory in the event dat­ing to 2013 and has 14 career world-record swims.

“It’s a feel­ing that never gets old,” said Ledecky, who hadn’t set a world record since the Rio Games.

“I knew I was go­ing to have a good swim,” Ledecky said.

“I’ve just been train­ing re­ally, re­ally well, do­ing some things that I haven’t done be­fore.

“I didn’t know if the good train­ing that I’ve put in these past six weeks was go­ing to trans­late im­me­di­ately here or if it was go­ing to be down the road. I got into the race and felt good and just tried to hold steady the whole way.”

Ledecky will have plenty more chances to im­press in In­di­anapo­lis, where she is also en­tered in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and the 200m and 400m in­di­vid­ual med­ley. — AFP

— AFP photo

Kobe Bryant (right) holds Katie Ledecky’s Golden Gog­gle Award for Fe­male Ath­lete of the Year dur­ing the USA Swim­ming Golden Gog­gle Awards at J.W. Mar­riot at LA in Los Angeles, Cal­i­for­nia in this Nov 19, 2017 file photo.

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