Katie Ledecky swam what she called “a relaxed” world record in the otherwise grueling 1500m freestyle preliminaries at the World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, on Monday.
The recent high school graduate without a driver’s license clocked 15:27.71 to break her record from 2014 by .65 of a second.
“To be honest, it did feel pretty easy,” Ledecky told media in Kazan. “I wasn’t kicking much. I think breaking that record is just a testament to the work I’ve put in and the shape that I’m in right now that I was able to do that. I’m in quite a bit of shock.”
Ledecky’s time was 26.52 seconds faster than anyone else in the 1500m free prelims, which is not surprising. She is an overwhelming favorite to repeat as World champion in the event Tuesday night, even though she also swims the 200m free semifinals about 25 minutes after the 1500m final.
She is scheduled for four individual events at Worlds and could become the first woman to win four individual titles at a single Worlds. Ledecky started with a 400m freestyle gold Sunday.
How does she feel on a scale of 1 to 10?
“Eleven,” she said. “It’s probably one of the coolest world records I’ve broken.”