Ledecky breaks 1500 meters world record at Pan Pacs

Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:23am EDT
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(Reuters) - American teenager Katie Ledecky broke her second world record in less than 24 hours while Michael Phelps suffered a rare defeat at the Pan Pacific championships in Australia on Sunday.

Ledecky hacked almost six seconds off her 1,500 metres freestyle world mark, which she set in Texas in June, when she charged through the 30-lap event in 15 minutes, 28.36 seconds.

The 17-year-old finished almost half a minute ahead of her nearest rival - an almost unimaginable margin in a sport where medals are often decided by hundredths of seconds - to collect her fifth title of the championships.

Ledecky broke her 400m world record on Saturday and came within a whisker of eclipsing her 800m world best on Thursday.

She also won the 200m individual event and anchored the United States to victory in the 4x200m to emerge as the biggest winner of the four-day meet at Australia's Gold Coast.

"That was probably one of my most painful races, I don't know whether to throw up or not," Ledecky told reporters.

"But it paid off in the end. Pretty early on it felt like I was on world record pace.

"I was pretty sure I had it. Still, six seconds is

pretty surprising."   Continued...