Gold Coast, Australia (4E Sports) – Young swimmer Katie Ledecky cut six seconds off her world record in the 1,500-meter freestyle, setting a new time of 15:2836 Sunday at the Pan Pacific Championships.
The 17-year-old Ledecky has set her fifth world record in the past nine weeks and her second in as many days at the Gold Coast Aquatic Center.
Ledecky shaved .49 second off the 400 freestyle mark she set two weeks ago, clocking in at 3:58.37 Saturday.
“I’m really enjoying the journey, just enjoying every step,” said Ledecky, who dominated the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500M freestyle, becoming the first woman since the competition’s inception in 1985 to win four individual events.
In the 1,500M event, Ledecky lapped three swimmers in her timed final heat, unheard-of in an international competition. She finished 40 meters ahead of her nearest challenger, Lauren Boyle, who finished in 15:55.69.
“I didn’t want to come away from the meet with a little bit of, like, oh, that was just O.K. So I just dug in deep,” Ledecky said.
“It’s an honor to swim against people who are that amazing and probably going to become legends of the sport for years and decades to come,” Boyle said.
Meanwhile, Michael Phelps capped his comeback in international competition with a gold medal in the medley relay.
Phelps, a 22-time Olympic medalist, began the day with a close defeat to Kosuke Hagino in the 200 medley but capped if off with a win in the medley.
The 29-year-old Phelps finished the meet with three gold medals — the 100 butterfly, 4×200 and medley relays — and silvers in the 200 IM and the 4×100 relay.