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Katie Ledecky swims 400 IM in time that would have medaled at worlds

(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky may be using the U.S. swimming championships as an opportunity to swim in some unusual events, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t winning them.

The 10-time Olympic medalist took gold in the 400-meter individual medley in a time of 4 minutes, 35.77 seconds.

Not only was the time just a little over four seconds off of the American record (4:31.12), it also would have won her bronze at this year’s world championships. The mark also stands as best time of her career — two seconds ahead of her previous best of 4:37.93 from 2016 — and puts her at No. 13 all-time among American women.

Leah Smith, an Olympic bronze medalist in the 400 freestyle, battled Ledecky to the end and took silver with a time of 4:36.36. Delicia Pasadyn took third in 4:42.79.

Despite the win, Ledecky doesn’t think she’ll be adding the event to her lineup anytime soon. In Tokyo, she swam an Olympic record 6,200 meters all in freestyle races.

“I’ve got a lot of meters of racing that I would like to do at the big meets, so I think adding the 400m IM is a little bit of a stretch,” she said.

Ledecky has had a strong nationals so far, winning both the 200 and 800 freestyles as well as the 400 IM.