Katie Ledecky dominates 1,500 at Olympic trials, exactly as expected


INDIANAPOLIS — Katie Ledecky’s Olympic trials continue to go exactly as she, and everyone else, thought they would.

Ledecky, the greatest female swimmer in history, won her third consecutive event Wednesday night, the longest race in the pool, the 1,500 freestyle in 15:37.35. She will be the strong gold medal favorite in the race at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games. Katie Grimes was second, finishing 20 seconds behind Ledecky.

"I was pretty excited coming into tonight," Ledecky said on NBC Sports after winning her race. "I would have loved to have been a little faster, but I’ll take it. I’ll be better in a few weeks."

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Ledecky, 27, is undefeated in the 1,500 in her professional career, having won five world titles and the first-ever Olympic gold medal in the event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She of course also holds the world record in a race that was made for her to dominate, requiring the strength, stamina and discipline to swim back and forth, back and forth, 30 times in the 50-meter pool.

“I’m really happy with how the meet’s going,” Ledecky, a seven-time Olympic gold medalist, said after Tuesday’s 1,500 heats. “Just taking it day by day and putting my best foot forward. I’m really pleased with how I’m feeling in the water and how each day has gone.”

She has one event left at the U.S. Olympic trials, the 800 freestyle Saturday.

At the Olympic Games, Ledecky will be favored to win gold in both the 800 and 1,500 and perhaps bronze in the 400.

While she hasn’t yet officially withdrawn from the individual 200 freestyle, which she won here earlier in the week, she said that’s her plan for Paris. She will, however, swim the 4 x 200 relay, another event in which she thrives.

In Tokyo three years ago, swimming the anchor leg, Ledecky swam the fastest relay split of all the swimmers in the race to pull the Americans up from third to second, passing the Australians and nearly catching the gold-medal-winning Chinese.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Katie Ledecky's Olympic trials streak continues with 1,500 win