Katie Ledecky followed Wednesday’s world-record swim with the second-fastest 400m freestyle in history at a Pro Series meet in Indianapolis on Thursday night.
In her first meet as a pro, Ledecky won the 400m free in 3:57.94, giving her the 10 fastest times ever in the event. The only faster swim was Ledecky’s world record 3:56.46 at the Rio Olympics.
Ledecky won Thursday’s race comfortably by 8.73 seconds over Olympic bronze medalist Leah Smith. She reacted to the time with a head nod, subdued compared to slamming her first into the water and sticking her tongue out after Wednesday’s world record.
“Had a little too high of a tempo the first 50,” Ledecky, who has three more weeks of Stanford classes left in her sophomore year, told media in Indianapolis. “Overall, really pleased. … Another good surprise.
“It’s really not something that should surprise me based on how I’ve been training the last six weeks. I just didn’t think that only six weeks could make that big of an impact.”
Later Thursday, Ledecky placed fifth in the 100m freestyle in 54.56. Her personal best in the 100m free, not one of her best events, is 53.75. Canadian Taylor Ruck won the 100m free in 53.42, topping Olympic and world champion Simone Manuel by .42.
Olympic and world 100m breaststroke champion Lilly King placed third in the 200m breast behind Melanie Margalis and Emily Escobedo. Margalis made the Rio Olympic team, but in the 200m individual medley and 4x200m free relay rather than the breaststroke.
London Olympic champ Nathan Adrian took the 100m freestyle in 48.69, topping Blake Pieroni by .54. The field lacked world champion Caeleb Dressel, who is competing at a meet in Atlanta this weekend.
NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and the NBC Sports app will air live coverage of the Indianapolis meet starting Friday.
Ledecky is also entered in the 400m individual medley (Friday), 200m freestyle (Friday), 200m individual medley (Saturday) and 800m freestyle (Saturday).
Friday (7 ET): Olympic Channel, OlympicChannel.com, Olympic Channel app*
Saturday (7 ET): NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app
Olympic Channel coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for Olympic Channel subscribers.
Swimmers are preparing for the U.S. Championships in July and Pan Pacific Championships in August, the two meets that will determine the 2019 World Championships team.
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