Fukuoka, Japan (July 29, 2023): Katie Ledecky made history on Saturday, winning the 800-meter freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships to become the first swimmer to win six gold medals in the same event at the worlds. It was also her 16th individual world title, breaking a tie with Michael Phelps for the most golds at worlds.
Ledecky, 26, has been one of the most dominant swimmers in the world for the past decade. She has won seven Olympic gold medals and 16 world championships gold medals, and she is the world record holder in the 800 and 1500 freestyles.
In the 800 freestyle on Saturday, Ledecky led from start to finish, winning by more than 10 seconds. Her time of 8:07.57 was the second-fastest in history.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Ledecky said after the race. “I’m so proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in my career. I’m just really grateful for all the support I’ve had along the way.”
Ledecky’s achievement is even more impressive when you consider that she is competing in an era that has also featured some of the greatest swimmers in history, including Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Missy Franklin.
“Katie is one of the greatest swimmers of all time,” said USA Swimming national team director Lindsay Mintenko. “She’s an inspiration to us all.”
Ledecky’s victory is a reminder that she is still at the top of her game. She is already planning to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and she is hoping to add to her medal collection.