Katie Ledecky opened the world swimming championships in style, winning the 400-meter freestyle in a championship record time of 3 minutes, 58.15 seconds.
The American Olympic gold-medalist topped 15-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh, who took second, and fellow American Leah Smith, who earned bronze.
NEW RECORD! @katieledecky just broke the World Championships record in the women’s 400 freestyle, taking gold in a 3:58.15!! #FINABudapest2022 pic.twitter.com/Z7BThtYjOf— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) June 18, 2022
NEW RECORD! @katieledecky just broke the World Championships record in the women’s 400 freestyle, taking gold in a 3:58.15!! #FINABudapest2022 pic.twitter.com/Z7BThtYjOf
Australian rival Ariarne Titmus was absent from the competition, opting to skip the Budapest-hosted event. Titmus set the new 400-meter freestyle world record in May, clocking a blistering pace of 3:56.40 seconds to dethrone Ledecky.
The 400-meter victory in Budapest marks Ledecky’s 16th career world championships gold medal and her 12th individual world title, the second-most behind Michael Phelps’ 15 individual golds.
Ledecky will compete in two more individual events, swimming the 800-meter and 1,500-meter frees.