The heats of the women’s 1500-meter freestyle were pretty exciting — the Olympic record was broken 5 times! You’re right, that doesn’t usually happen. But since the women’s 1500-meter free is a new event at this Games, the record was up for grabs! Each heat winner automatically set a new Olympic record. But Katie Ledecky had the last word.
Ledecky swam the fastest time in the heats with a speedy 15:35.35. This swim was Ledecky’s 8th fastest swim ever, and over 15 seconds slower than her world record, set in 2018: 15:20.48. We can expect her to swim faster in the finals tomorrow night.
Ledecky finished about 6 seconds ahead of the 2nd seed, Wang Jianjiahe of China, who finished in 15:41.49 (a new Asian record!). And Jianjiahe finished another 5 seconds ahead of American Erica Sullivan, who took 3rd. It’s looking like there’s going to be a battle for the bronze medal in finals.