Ledecky delivers win but no world record
By Steve Keating
OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - Katie Ledecky delivered everything but the world record everyone had expected, storming to victory in the women's 400 meters freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swim trials on Monday and securing her ticket to the Rio Games.
The dominant figure in women's swimming, Ledecky is a threat to smash a record almost every time she dives into a pool and she clearly had her sight set on lowering her own mark in the 400 free.
But the 19-year-old faded badly over the final 200, settling for the third fastest time ever in the event of three minutes, 58.98 seconds.
"I think the last 150 I just kept telling myself, Rio, Rio, Rio, just come on," said Ledecky. "I just tried to keep myself fired up on that and didn't really care what the time was.
"I haven't been 3:58 since 2014 and I'm happy how I swam it.
"I know there are improvements we can make off of it."
Ledecky, who came into the final having registered eight of the top 10 swims in the event, had looked poised to demolish her own mark of 3:58.37 when she blazed through the opening 200 meters more than two seconds under world record pace.
But the world champion had gone out too fast. Continued...