Young Australian Grabs Katie Ledecky’s Olympic Crown in 400m Freestyle
It was, as The Washington Post put it, “the most anticipated four minutes of swimming in recent Olympic history”: Katie Ledecky, the great American freestyler, up against the Australian sensation Ariarne Titmus in the final of the 400m freestyle in Tokyo. And it didn’t disappoint. Ledecky, 24, who has never lost an individual Olympic final since grabbing the 800m gold at London 2012, set off at a blistering pace over one of the sport’s most grueling distances. But the 20-year-old Aussie caught her around the 300m mark and held off a late challenge, winning in a time of 3:56.69, not far off Ledecky’s world record of 3:56.46, set at Rio 2016. Ledecky touched the wall in 3:57.36, which, she quickly pointed out, was her second-best time at the distance. “You can’t get much better than that. Tremendous race, a lot of fun. I can’t be too disappointed with that,” she said.