Ledecky breaks 1,500m free record at nationals

2013-07-01 06:32:16 GMT2013-07-01 14:32:16(Beijing Time)  SINA.com
Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the women's 1,500 meters freestyle at the US National Swimming Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday. (Photo: AFP)Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the women's 1,500 meters freestyle at the US National Swimming Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday. (Photo: AFP)

Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky claimed her third title on Saturday at the US National Swimming Championships with a dominant victory in the 1,500 meters freestyle.

On the final night of competition, the 16-year-old flirted with the world record through the first half of the women's 1,500 meters free before finishing with a world-leading time of 15 minutes 47.15 seconds.

Throughout the race, it was Ledecky against the clock. Chloe Sutton was the runner-up in 16:07.75.

"I just wanted to do my own thing and see how fast I could go," Ledecky said of her approach to the event, which isn't raced by women at the Olympic Games. "I blanked out pretty badly on that swim."

The performance was the fourth fastest all-time, a meet record and a personal best for the high school student from Bethesda, Maryland, who won the 800 meters free at the London Games.

Ledecky is now eligible for five events at the world championships in Barcelona, from July 18 to August 4. She won the 800 meters free on Tuesday and finished first in Friday's 400 meters freestyle.

Her second-place finish on Wednesday to Missy Franklin in the 200 meters free earned her a spot in that event, as well as 4x200 meters free relay berth.

"I'm excited to represent the US in a number of events," said Ledecky.

However, Ledecky was undecided on which events she'll swim at Barcelona.

"I'm going to be talking to my coach (Bruce Gemmell) later tonight or tomorrow and we'll make a decision," she said.

Joining Ledecky as triple winners as the national championships concluded on Saturday were Ryan Lochte and Connor Jaeger.

Lochte, who bagged five Olympic medals last year - two gold, two silver and one bronze - won the 200 meters individual medley in 1:55.44 - the fastest clocking of 2013. Second in 1:57.74 was Conor Dwyer.

Lochte had already won the 200 meters free and the 200 meters back. He's eligible for seven events at worlds, including the 100 meters fly and three relays.

Jaeger earned his third win of the meet with a first-place finish in the 800 meters freestyle. Jaeger also won the 1,500 meters free on Tuesday and the 400 meters free on Friday.

In the night's closest race, Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian won the men's 50 meters free with a world-leading time of 21.47. In a blanket finish, Anthony Ervin was second in 21.70, followed by Josh Schneider in 21.87 and Cullen Jones in 21.88. It was the second triumph in the week for Adrian to go with his victory in the 100 meters free, which he won at the London Games.

Natalie Coughlin, 30, edged 16-year-old Simone Manuel in the women's 50 meters freestyle.

Coughlin, a three-time Olympian and the owner of a dozen medals from the Games, won in 24.97 to 25.01 for Manuel.

(Agencies)

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