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In First Pro Race, Katie Ledecky Smashes Own 1,500-meter World Record

By Karen Price | May 16, 2018, 7:33 p.m. (ET)

Katie Ledecky poses with her silver medal won in the women's 200-meter freestyle at the 2017 FINA World Championships on July 26, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.


Katie Ledecky has broken many a record during her swimming career, but Wednesday night was just a little different.

The six-time Olympic medalist (five of them gold) made her professional debut, after competing for Stanford for two seasons and breaking several collegiate records, at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis, and crushed her own world record in the 1,500-meter freestyle by five seconds. With the distance being added to the women’s Olympic slate in Tokyo in 2020, it will likely be yet another record Ledecky owns – and gold medal she is favored to win – two years from now.

The 21-year-old swam the 1,500 in 15:20.48, almost 50 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Equally as impressive is setting the record in May of a non-Olympic or world championship year.

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Ledecky has not lost a 1,500-meter race in senior competition. She set the previous record of 15:25.48 at the 2015 world championships. Ledecky has the eight fastest times ever in the 1,500.

This is the first world record she’s broken since winning four golds and one silver medal and setting two world records at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Ledecky turned pro in March after the college season ended. She also holds the world records in the 400- and 800-meter free.

Ledecky is also entered in the 100, 200 and 800 freestyle, and 200 and 400 IM at the meet, which lasts through Sunday.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Katie Ledecky