Swimming: Ledecky leads the way in 800m freestyle heats

Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:04pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Katie Ledecky put another golden, and late, night behind her on Thursday and focused on winning a fourth title at the Rio Games in her favorite 800 meters freestyle event.

The 19-year-old did not push too hard in the heats after anchoring the U.S. to victory in the 4x200m freestyle relay late on Wednesday, but still set an Olympic record time of eight minutes 12.86 seconds.

Her closest rival, Hungary's Boglarka Kapas, was nearly seven seconds slower in 8:19.43 with Britain's Jazz Carlin third in 8:19.67.

"(Coach) Bruce (Gemmell) just told me to think about my rhythm the first 200 and then he didn't give any other instructions," said the world record holder and defending champion who has become unbeatable at the distance.

"Well, he told me not to take a hard stroke so I tried not to."

Ledecky said she had got to bed at about 3.15 a.m and, not being one for sleeping in, was up again at about 9 a.m.

"I'm happy. I get tonight off, tomorrow morning off and get to race again," she said

Ledecky has already won the 200m and 400m freestyle and is going for the individual golden triple. She also has the 4x200 relay gold and a 4x100 silver.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Preliminary - Women's 800m Freestyle - Heats - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Katie Ledecky (USA) of USA competes on her way to seting a new Olympic record. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler  TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY