2017 FINA World Championships

Can Katie Ledecky Hit The 200-400-800-1500m Freestyle Sweep?

Can Katie Ledecky Hit The 200-400-800-1500m Freestyle Sweep?

Preview for the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. This article looks to see if American swimmer Katie Ledecky can again sweep the 200-400-800-1500 meter freestyle events and break world records at the World Championships.

Jul 22, 2017 by Maclin Simpson
Can Katie Ledecky Hit The 200-400-800-1500m Freestyle Sweep?

2017 FINA World Championships

July 23-30, 2017
Budapest, Hungary
Dagály Aquatics Arena

Katie Ledecky (USA)

WR: 200m Freestyle -- 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 2009
2017 Best: 1:54.84 (+1.86)

WR: 400m Freestyle -- 3:56.46, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016 
2017 Best: 3:58.44 (+1.98)

WR: 800m Freestyle -- 8:04.79, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016 
2017 Best: 8:11.50 (+6.71)

WR: 1500m Freestyle -- 15:25.48, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016 
2017 Best: 15:35.65 (+10.17)

The world is clearly entrenched in the ​Katie Ledecky​ era, as she has not been beaten in an individual event in international waters her whole career. In Budapest, Ledecky will look to add to her seven individual world championship titles -- contesting the 200, 400, 800, and 1500m freestyle events once again. In Rio, she broke the world record in the 400m and 800m, and one would suspect she will be close to, or better than, those times next week.

The 1500m, however, looks vulnerable at 15:25.48. In May, outdoors at the arena Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara, CA, Ledecky blasted a 15:35.65 in-season. With this being recently added as a new Olympic event, we are looking for Ledecky to really flex her muscles in this one and break another world record.

The biggest question mark for Ledecky remains the 200m freestyle. Although she is the defending Olympic champion (1:53.73) and defending world champion (1:55.16), does she have enough firepower and front end speed to take down ​Federica Pellegrini's​ 2009 world mark of 1:52.98? If there is one thing we should all have learned by now watching Ledecky's career blossom: never doubt her.​

She will again have to face the same battle as she did in Kazan 2015, swimming the final of the 1500m in the same session as the semifinals of the 200m -- with the 1500 coming first. That's a tough double, but all she needs to do is secure a lane in the top eight in the 200. With 2016 Olympic silver medalist ​Sarah Sjöström​ of Sweden not swimming the event, Ledecky's biggest competition in the 200 will come from the world record holder Pellegrini, ​Emma McKeon​ of Australia (2016 Olympic bronze medalist)​, and ​Michelle Coleman​ of Sweden.​


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