Ledecky Passes Phelps

SoxJox

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2003
7,261
Rock > SoxJox < Hard Place
Shattering Michael Phelps' record, Katie Ledecky shows why she's the greatest. Now has the most individual world swimming titles in history

A remarkable achievement. Stunning, even,

US swimmer Katie Ledecky claimed her 16th individual gold medal at this month's World Aquatics Championships in Japan, surpassing US legend Michael Phelps' 15. She also won a record sixth gold in the same individual event—the 800-meter freestyle, where she owns the top 30 fastest times globally.

The milestone comes 11 years after Ledecky's debut at the Olympics in London at age 15, where she won gold in the 800-meter freestyle (see bio). She has since won six more Olympic golds and 21 world golds, including team events, firmly establishing her as the winningest woman swimmer ever. She currently holds the world record in the women's 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle events. Only two others—Phelps and fellow American Ryan Lochte—have more total world medals than the 26-year-old Marylander.

Elsewhere at worlds, Australian swimmer Mollie O'Callaghan became the first woman ever to sweep the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle events. See the tournament medal table here.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

Red-headed Skrub child
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
8,758
Seacoast NH
Ledecky is an alien. After winning the 1500M free should could have had a sandwich before the 2nd place finisher touched (15:26.27 vs. 15:43.31). Compare that to the winning margin on the men's side which had a .05 second differential. Generally the same thing in the 800M where she won by ~4.5 seconds vs. .76 seconds on the men's side. She's not really competing for 1st, she's just competing against her own records.
 

Pitt the Elder

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 7, 2013
4,466
Ledecky is an alien. After winning the 1500M free should could have had a sandwich before the 2nd place finisher touched (15:26.27 vs. 15:43.31). Compare that to the winning margin on the men's side which had a .05 second differential. Generally the same thing in the 800M where she won by ~4.5 seconds vs. .76 seconds on the men's side. She's not really competing for 1st, she's just competing against her own records.
Ledecky split 8:14.0 to her feet at the 800 mark in her 1500. The silver medal time in the 800 was 8:13.3. So, yeah, Ledecky essentially swam a silver medal performance (to herself!) within a gold medal performance.

Ledecky has been caught and passed in the 400 but Ariarne Titmus and Summer McIntosh (still only 16!) in the 400 but no one is remotely close to Ledecky in the 800/1500. She has a glide path to double gold in 2024 and probably 2028, assuming she doesn't completely fall off a cliff and/or a new crop of distance phenoms emerges. Base case for her in Paris is two golds (800/1500), a bronze (400), and a silver (4x200 relay). Unless both Titmus and McIntosh stumble, her odds at gold in the 400 are very slim (10-15%) though there's a good chance she can take gold of one them wilts in the spotlight (this just happened at world champs with McIntosh) but the larger field is gaining on her and there is a chance she be doesn't medal at all. But yeah, she's a machine, she'll put up fast times a year from now.