Olympic Swimming Live Updates: Caeleb Dressel Suits Up for the 100 Free


In her third Summer Games, Katie Ledecky was lastly in a position to swim for Olympic gold in what is basically her finest occasion: the 1,500-meter freestyle, the longest race contested in the pool.

The distance has been out there to males since the 1904 Olympics, when it was launched as a mile race. Women who contested the occasion in different meets needed to settle for the 800 meters at the Games, an occasion that Ledecky will attempt to win for a 3rd time on Saturday.

On Wednesday morning, although, she lastly acquired her likelihood in the inaugural ladies’s 1,500 and delivered her first gold of the Tokyo Games. Ledecky’s time of 15 minutes 37.34 seconds was greater than 4 seconds sooner than her American teammate Erica Sullivan (15:41.41), who received the silver, and greater than 5 seconds forward of the bronze medalist, Sarah Kohler of Germany (15:42.
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91).

Ledecky holds the world file in the 1,500 and had the high qualifying time on Monday. Her victory in the occasion — a grueling marathon that requires 30 journeys the size of the pool — got here somewhat greater than an hour after Ledecky had completed fifth in the 200 freestyle ultimate.

Ledecky has received three 1,500-meter world championships and has set world data six occasions, greater than every other swimmer in the occasion, male or feminine. But in simply competing at this distance in the Olympics, Ledecky was getting a chance denied to distance-swimming greats like Janet Evans, Debbie Meyer, Shane Gould and Jennifer Turrall.

Until 1968, the longest Olympic occasion in ladies’s swimming was 400 meters. Meyer received the first 800-meter Olympic race for ladies at the Mexico City Games that yr, in addition to the 200 and 400 freestyle.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

She held the world file in each the 800 and the 1,500 again then, and she or he told The Times in 2014 that she questioned why the longer race was not out there at the Olympics. Meyer stated she had been informed that there weren’t sufficient international locations with ladies competing in the 1,500.

“It really was all about the thinking then,” she stated, “which was, women were the weaker sex and because men were stronger people, they could last the distance.”

Over the years, different discrepancies in swimming have been resolved. From 1984 to 1996, for instance, the males had three relays and the ladies two. At the Atlanta Games, the ladies gained parity, with a 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Swimming:

Women’s

1,500m

Freestyle

Final

But FINA, the worldwide governing physique for aquatics, had lengthy resisted permitting ladies to compete in the 1,500 at the Summer Games, regardless of efforts in each sport to make the Olympic expertise equal for men and women.

In 2015, Julio Maglione, the FINA president, stated he doubted that the 1,500 could possibly be added to the Olympic program, which was already full of races at a number of distances for each stroke.

Yet now, not solely have ladies gained the 1,500, however male distance swimmers even have an 800 on their schedule for the first time since 1904. A blended medley relay has been added, with two males and two ladies on every workforce.

The longest swim in Tokyo, nonetheless, is not going to happen in the pool. The 10-kilometer open-water occasion was added to the Olympics in 2008, with races for women and men.



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