Katie Ledecky made history in the women’s 1500-meter freestyle, becoming the first ever Olympic champion in the event.
While Ledecky already holds the world record in this event (and making history isn’t anything new to her), this Games is the first time women have had the chance to compete in the 1500-meter freestyle.
True to her usual form, Ledecky maintained a solid lead of at least a body length the entire race, touching in 15:37.34, a few seconds shy of the Olympic record she set in prelims.
American Erica Sullivan took silver, finishing 4 seconds behind Ledecky in 15:41.41. Sarah Kohler of Germany took the bronze, battling it out with Sullivan and ultimately finishing in 15:42.91.
The Americans celebrated by smacking the water and giving each other a big hug. Ledecky fought back tears, feeling the gravity of this moment in swimming history. She’s got to stay focused, with the 800-meter free still on her list.