Speed Reads

olympic history

Katie Ledecky wins Olympic gold in first-ever women's 1,500-meter freestyle

In a victory that will go down in Olympic history, Katie Ledecky won gold in the first-ever women's 1,500-meter freestyle Wednesday in Tokyo.

The 24-year-old American swimmer finished the race with a time of 15:37.34, a full 4.07 seconds ahead of her teammate, Erica Sullivan, who won the silver medal. Germany's Sarah Kohler took home the bronze. 

Once she was out of the pool, Ledecky — who at 16 set the world record for the 1,500-meter — told NBC she thinks of "all the great female swimmers the U.S. had, had they had the opportunity to swim that event ... so many people that I looked up to, that I still look up to; they're great friends of mine. And I'm so glad we could do it in the best possible way."

This was Ledecky's third event at the Tokyo Olympics, and her win came only about an hour after she finished fifth in the women's 200-meter freestyle, which she won at the 2016 Olympics. Ledecky earned the silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle, and has two more races coming up: the 800-meter freestyle and 4x200 relay.