Katie Ledecky wins third straight Olympic gold in 800m freestyle

Katie Ledecky wins third straight Olympic gold in 800m freestyle
Posted at 9:49 PM, Jul 30, 2021

Katie Ledecky won the women's 800-meter freestyle on Saturday in Tokyo, her final event of the Olympic Games. 

Ledecky, who went 8:12.57, beat out second-place finisher Ariarne Titmus — who handed Ledecky her first-ever individual Olympic loss earlier in the meet — by 1.26 seconds. She's the fourth swimmer in history to win back-to-back-to-back Olympic golds in a single event, and now has 10 Olympic medals (seven gold) to her name.

Ledecky owns the top 23 times in history in the event, starting with the 8:04.79 world record she set at the Rio Olympics. Titmus' 8:13.83 today is the fastest time ever by someone other than Ledecky. 

Asked if the race was her last Olympic swim ever, Ledecky said: "Oh, that was not my last swim. I'm at least going to '24. Maybe '28, we'll see."

Two days ago, Ledecky became the first woman to win Olympic gold in the 1500-meter freestyle, but was 15 seconds off her best time. In her first individual event of the Games, she took second to Titmus in the 400 free, and then roughly an hour before the 1500, finished fifth in the 200.

Ledecky came roaring back to anchor the United States women's 4x200 free relay, however, throwing down her second-fastest relay split ever and blowing by the Australian team to secure silver behind China. 

Also competing in the 800 final was 15-year-old Katie Grimes, who stunned the American swimming world by taking second to Ledecky at U.S. Olympic Trials in June, finishing fourth in 8:19.38. 

Heading into Tokyo, Ledecky was eyeing a potential historic sweep of the women's mid-distance and distance freestyle events, but it was not to be.