The 200-meter freestyle delivered one of the most shocking results of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games thus far, as Katie Ledecky swam in the finals of an international meet and failed to reach the podium for the first time in her prolific career.
After finding redemption later Tuesday night by winning the gold medal in the first-ever women’s 1,500-meter freestyle, Ledecky continued her strong run Wednesday night – and this time it delivered a silver medal for Team USA in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay. It was Ledecky’s ninth career Olympic medal.
— Stanford WSwim/Dive (@stanfordwswim) July 29, 2021
Swimming the anchor leg, Ledecky entered the water solidly in third place. But it did not take long for the Bethesda native and Stone Ridge School graduate to make an impact. She made up more than 1 ½ seconds to pass Australia for second but ran out of time, touching the wall in 7 minutes 40.73 seconds to win the silver medal, just four tenths of a second behind first-place China. Ledecky swam her leg in 1 minute 53.76 seconds – nearly 1 ½ seconds faster than she swam the individual 200, a time that would have claimed the silver medal in that race.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
“Everyone counted us out,” Ledecky said in a poolside interview with NBC, noting that the Australians and Chinese teams were considered heavy favorites; the top three teams all beat the previous world record. “I just wish I had another half-second in me, but I gave it my all.”
Jeez. Katie Ledecky ate her Wheaties this morning. #Olympics
— Mallory SoRelle (@SoRelleM) July 29, 2021
Ledecky has one more event remaining in Tokyo, the women’s 800-meter freestyle, which begins with preliminaries Thursday night (Thursday morning in Montgomery County) and the final scheduled for Saturday morning (Friday night in Montgomery County).