The US looked dead in the water. Until Katie Ledecky happened.
Anchoring the US women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay on Wednesday, Ledecky made magic again, completing a stunning comeback to lead the US to gold.
As Ledecky dove into the pool, the U.S. trailed by a not insignificant amount, about .90 seconds. In a neck-and-neck race through the first three legs, Australia had actually passed US swimmer Maya DiRado in the third leg, making a U.S. gold look like an uphill battle.
Luckily, Ledecky made it possible. Not only did she make up the difference by the end of the first leg, over the next 150 meters, she stormed ahead of Australia. She finished the 200 meters in 1:53.74, the only swimmer to finish under 1:54.
Her teammates’ reactions said it all:
This is what happens when you watch Ledecky do her thing.
Here’s the distance Ledecky made up over her leg:
The rest of the swimming world was equally stunned:
She is so good I’m running out of words.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 11, 2016
Katie Ledecky is a baaaaad woman.
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) August 11, 2016
Katie Ledecky is a motorboat in a swimming race.
— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) August 11, 2016
Ledecky still has one more race to go — the 800-meter freestyle. It happens to be her best event, as she holds the world record.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that Ledecky will leave Rio with five medals, four of them gold.
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