Katie Ledecky has resumed her world dominance over the freestyle at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Ledecky, who became a breakout star at the Rio Olympics by taking home four golds and a silver, made a mockery of the field in the 1,500-meter freestyle heats, an event in which she already held the world record.
On Monday, Ledecky swam 15:47.54 in the 1,500 beating the second-place finisher by 17 seconds and the last-place swimmer by 97 seconds.
According to Nick Zaccardi of Olympic Talk, it was only the ninth-fastest time of Ledecky’s career — 22 seconds off her world record — but still 13 seconds faster than any other woman had swum this year.
The rest of the field was, well, missing when Ledecky finished:
Lest you thought she would be tired after the race, she did not appear to be. “I don’t think she took a hard stroke in that whole race,” remarked on the analysts.
And after 17 seconds, once the second-place finisher touched the wall, Ledecky still had some time to wait.
Thus far, Ledecky has taken home two golds, setting the stage to tie the women’s record with six golds in a single World Championships. She’s the favourite in her remaining events.
Ledecky won the 400-meter freestyle in the second-fastest time in history, giving her the nine-fastest times in event history. Later, she received some help in the 4×100 relay, actually swimming the slowest leg of the U.S. women’s quarter. However, lead-off swimmer Mallory Comerford set an American 100-meter free record, giving the team a bit of a boost.
As Ledecky has proven time and again, the longer the race, the more separation she gets. Her 97-second win was the longest of her career at an international meet, according to Zaccardi, thus only strengthening her hold as the world’s most dominant athlete.
Watch Ledecky’s 1,500-meter finish below: