Women’s 400m free: Gold for Ledecky (USA) in a CR of 3:59.13

Kazan 2015 - SW

After very relaxed preliminaries, where she was under the World Record pace for the first 200m, few in the pool doubted that Katie Ledecky would not win the final of the women’s 400m free. The 18-year-old US swimmer did not disappoint and easily touched first in a new Championship Record of 3:59.13, improving the former best mark of the competition, held by Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 3:59.15) since Rome 2009.

Ledecky started the race very fast, swimming under WR pace until the 300m-turn, but could not keep the rhythm until the end, spoiling the opportunity to beat her best global mark of 3:58.37 set in August 2014. The US champion was already the world champion in this event, after her 3:59.82 win in Barcelona 2013. In the Catalonian capital, Ledecky was one of the swimmers of the Championships, getting four gold medals – 400m, 800m, 1500m and 4x200m free relay.

Katie Ledecky (USA) - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

In Kazan, she swam alone for the entire race, while Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) and Jessica Ashwood (AUS) were in a close fight for the silver. In the end, the Dutch swimmer was faster, touching home in 4:03.02, while the Australian got the bronze in 4:03.34. Rouwendaal was bronze medallist in the 2011 worlds in Shanghai (CHN) in the 200m backstroke, but in Kazan she was one of the stars of the Open Water competitions, with two second places in the 10km and the 5km team event. For Ashwood, this was the first success at this level. Lauren Boyle (NZL), bronze medallist in Barcelona 2013 could not repeat this achievement and finished the race in fifth.


Katie Ledecky (USA, gold): “I thought I could be a little bit faster than that, but can’t complain on the World Championship gold medal and a good swim on the first race. I kind of hoped for a new world record, but can’t complain – perhaps you guys miss it, but not me. It was a great job, I felt good throughout the whole race”.

World Record:
Katie Ledecky (USA), 3:58.37 – August 23, 2014 in Gold Coast (AUS)
Championships Record: Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 3:59.15 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2015): Katie Ledecky (USA), 3:59.13 – August, Kazan (RUS)
2005-2013 winners in this event: 2005 – Laure Manaudou (FRA, 4:06.44); 2007 – Laure Manaudou (FRA, 4:02.61); 2009 – Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 3:59.15); 2011 – Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 4:01.97); 2013 – Katie Ledecky (USA, 3:59.82)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Laure Manaudou (FRA, 2005 & 2007), Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 2009 & 2011) and Katie Ledecky (USA, 2013 & 2015)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Camille Muffat (FRA, 4:01.45), 2. Allison Schmitt (USA, 4:01.77), 3. Rebecca Adlington (GBR, 4:03.01)