W1500m Free: Another Magical Performance From Katie Ledecky With 15:25.48 WR

Katie Ledecky - take that - now for the 200 semi … by Patrick B. Kraemer

Katie Ledecky wowed again, winning the 1500 freestyle by nearly 15 seconds and with a world record of 15:25.48. Silver for Lauren Boyle (NZL), bronze to Boglarka Kapas (HUN)

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Katie Ledecky wowed again, winning the 1500 freestyle by nearly 15 seconds and with a world record of 15:25.48. Silver for Lauren Boyle (NZL), bronze to Boglarka Kapas (HUN)

Comments

Wez

Marvelous swim from all 3 medalists!

Ledecky with a WR, an OR for Boyle and a PB, and then a superb swim from Boggy 🙂 I am not sure if it is a NR or not perhaps Craig could clarify that?

aswimfan

Finally I see Ledecky looking spent after a race.

15:25 and then 1:56 12 minutes later is just crazy.

aswimfan

I can now safely say that Ledecky is the greatest female distance swimmer ever, even if she has less Olympics golds than Evans.

Anon

I’m tipping ledecky to take it out tmrw! I was getting worried that she might have missed the final but to be able to do that time after a 1500m is inhuman

beachmouse

That was as rough looking 1:56 as you’re going to see. Still, business was taken care of and everyone’s going to be somewhat fresh for the final. Fun times to see a 1:56 needed to advance.

aswimfan

Wez was right,

That was a much better swim by Le Clos.
I hope he can go closer 1:53 low tomorrow

Ger

Le Clos Vs. Cseh should be a humdinger.

aswimfan

Another PB by Cseh 1:53.53
He let Shield did all the hard work being the rabbit and blitzed everyone on the last lap.

Tomorrow will be crazy.

aswimfan

After athletics doping scandal where 80% of all Russian medalists had suspected blood values, Im hoping Meilutyite to beat Efimova

easyspeed

TOO GOOD! WR in the 200 free by KL (this meet). Thoughts?

aswimfan

Oh well, the one who bought extra supplement at GHC won

The crowd has a nice gift from this evening

easyspeed

Split would have been 6th place in the 400 free..

Anon

Sad she won too. But that was a slow as hell final – leisel Jones would have dominated it!

aswimfan

The times are much slower than Barcelona.

I’m guessing Ruta is falling victim to common enemy among young female breaststrokers: changing bodyshape during puberty.

Wynne Kirchner

aswimfan- Cseh went 1:52.7 at Beijing Olympics which is his current PB.

Craig Lord

Doubt it, easyspeed – cant’t see them all dropping 2.5 sec … but she might win …

aswimfan

I’m downgrading Heemskerk chances.
She looked pretty bad in the last lap of both prelims and semis.
It’s a pity. This is her last good chance for individual medal in in worlds.

aswimfan

Wynne Kirchner,

true. I meant textile PB

Anon

Aswimfan, she has a decent chance in 100m freestyle too!

aswimfan

Sjostrom shouldn’t have dropped the 200.
Heemskerk is not looking that good.
Franklin not as dangerous as we thought.
Her closest battle would have been with Ledecky and Pellegrini.

aswimfan

Anon,

indeed she has. It would be a shame if Heemskerk can’t repeat her 1:54 here, though

Anon

Yes looking at the times for the sf, sjostrom would have been my tip to win it. Ledecky is the only one that I’m confident will go 1:54

Wez

aswimfan, it seems that Laszlo has learned a last 50 pace from Tamas Kenderesi! 28.9 on the was home is superb.

Tomorrow is going to be a super final, with Chad, Laz and Viktor Bromer i feel.

I have a sneaky suspicion that Chad backed off that last 50, and if he is ahead with 50 to go, there will be no stopping him.

Out like a rocket vs back like a train! What a treat we are in for.

My opinion for the 200 free for woman tomorrow is that it will be an anti climax…. Race of the century will not be a repeat of Athens…

Ger

Through all the heats and semis of the 200 free, only one swim under 1:56.

aswimfan

I’m surprised that Rouwendhaal didn’t swim faster.
You’d think with 400 free silver and silvers at both OW events she would have been a lot closer to Ledecky.
Maybe she’s tired after all those swimming?

Haakon Stokke

@wes,

I am sorry, but I thought LeClos looked somewhat beat on the last 50. The 200 favorite in my book now is clearly Cseh.

commonwombat

Have to agree with Haakon,

Wez

@commonwombat @haakon

A friendly bet then it would seem 🙂 however, as patriotic as I am, Lazslo is a friend of mine too. I feel indifferent to the results but rather excited to see a Podium full of sub 1:54’s… that would be Historic.

Lennart van Haaften

Van Rouwendaal said she doesn’t really like the 1500m and was happy being in the final, though she also wanted a PB (missed it by 0.4s) or under 16min. She also said she had problems with how fast the others go out as well as problems catching up later. She prefers swimming the 400m. I guess it happens. My favorite distances used to be the 50 and 100 free and the 5km!

commonwombat

I’m also a fellow South African; or at least half South-African as I still have joint citizenship. Cudos to Chad for putting it all out there ….. and as it appears he thinks that’s his best road to success we’d have to expect him to give it another lash.

However, my head generally overrides my hear when it comes to who I THINK will win so that’s why I’m going with Cseh.

Lennart van Haaften

I’m wondering whether this will remain Ledecky’s best time. She may not swim it next year and in 2017 she’ll be 20 years old, slightly old for a WR in this distance for women.

Anyway she has done a lot in this event. Five WRs ties the record (Jennifer Turrall also broke htis WR 5 times in the 1970s).

She can focus on the 100-800 from now for the Olympics and aim for 5 medals (200, 400, 800, 4×100, 4×200). There’s quite a bit of room for improvement in her 400 and 800 WRs.

felix

Been saying all year Ledecky wins all 4…..she does it easy, tonight will turn with them at the 150 & bury them. Heemskerk aint going 1.54 she looked awful in the last 20 & so did Chad, Cseh wins that & I like him in the 100 as well. Why can Franklin still not start? Gotta like Seebohm in the 200m those college years have not helped Franklin in the slightest.

Haakon Stokke

@wes,

Reviewing LeClos’ 50 fly and 200 fly semi today, it seems like he is not comfortable in the 50 while at the same time apparently extreme natural power/speed at ease when doing the first 50 in the 200. Am I right or is this pure nonsense? It’d be interesting to hear from somebody who knows him. If you look at Sjostrom she had – as Professor Lord previously has pointed out – two different techniques when swimming the 50 and the 100, respectively. My feeling is that LeClos can almost match his 50 fly time from the other day in his opening 50 fly in the 100 fly later this week, a phenomenon one often observed historically for world class 100 breaststrokers.

Yozhik

What is going on with 200m free? Unexpectedly slow men race and poker like women semis. Ledecky after 1500m was the fastest of all other 15 swimmers at last 50. Either they were very confident with getting to the final or something indeed is happening with this distance.

Craig Lord

The 200 has a history of nervous approaches, Yozhik – stacks of examples of big races won for what at the time were considered ‘soft’ times compared to the prevailing top 3 best on the clock …

Craig Lord

I think you’re right about Chad Le Clos, Haakon. Fascinating race ahead with Mr Cseh.

JMott76

8:13 to her feet has to rank among scariest things I’ve ever seen on my TV screen. Any sport.

Brought to mind Usain Bolt back in Beijing, where in a 100m heat he literally jogged second 50 and still crossed the line in 9.92 (Lewis’ old WR). So gobsmacked I nearly dropped my food!!!

Same here. Absolute insanity!!!

[And I thought 8:17 this time two years ago was frightening…]

Swim of the meet over Hosszu? Importance-wise, not quite imo. Better p4p?

What say you, aswimfan?

rfrize

It’s gotta be Cseh for the 200 fly, Le Clos just doesn’t look right on the last 50 and I suspect Cseh still has a good bit more to give.

Although it would be great to see Ledecky do the 4, I think Pellegrini’s tactical chops gives her a good chance at the gold.

Personal Best

I don’t know why I was surprised that Ledecky herself was ‘surprised’ (you know, doing that happy/angry water slap) at the end of her 1500.

She was miles under that WR, and given how easy her heat swim looked like it was a no brainer.

I am now very excited for her 200… the way she came back from 8th to 3rd was very impressive.

felix

rfrize try mentioning the word tactics to ledecky….

aswimfan

Jmott76,

I think Hosszu’s 2:06 is still the swim of the meet in my book.
It’s of course subjective, but Hosszu’s swim was measured against the ridiculous shiny suit WR that we all predicted was gonna last for two decades.
Never in a million years would I have predicted that women 200 IM WR would be broken before men’s and women’s 100 back WR.

It was an insane swim by Ledecky, but for me, the more crazy thing is how she broke 1,500 WR twice in consecutive days!
As for her 800 split, it was jaw dropping, but has been done before. Kieren Perkins casually broke 800 WR on his way to 1500 WR.

Yozhik

I agree with asf that breaking suit records has to be awarded with bonus because we want them gone as soon as possible. On the other hand we got spoiled by seven(!) Ledecky’s records and the excitement is not that sharp any more. When I am deciding who is better I prefer numbers to emotions. The benchmark that can be used to compare Sjostrom’s fly records with Hosszu’s IM one and Ledecky’s free ones is how those records are ranked in corresponding men competition. It is pretty much accurate to say that the advantage of man swimmer against female swimmer is about the same in different swimming disciplines. So if let say Hosszu is ranked number 90 and Sjostrom is 75 and Ledecky is 111 then I would say that Sjostrom achievement is the most outstanding. The men swimming statistics has longer history and is reliable. So it is quite reasonable to use it as benchmark.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

Your proposed method/benchmark is still not objective.
I don’t have the statistics, but generally, the gaps between men and women average times in swimming is shorter the longer the distance goes. I will try to set up excel tables if I have time.
So your opinion that “the advantage of man swimmer against female swimmer is about the same in different swimming disciplines” is neither accurate nor scientific.

So your proposed method by comparing their WRs to men’s ranking would favor Ledecky > Hosszu > Sjostrom

aswimfan

Also, simple thing to observe:

The gap between men’s and women’s advantage in 100 events is largest in breaststroke, followed by back, fly and free. That’s why in mixed medley relay, generally teams would prefer to swim male back – male breast – female fly – female free.

So, obviously in event such as 200 IM where it incorporates all strokes, Hosszu’s will be at most disadvantage when compared to men.

aswimfan

By the way, I reckon Ledecky is smart because she gives all and goes after WRs every single time. It adds to her legacy.

You never know when your next WR will come, especially for distance events where generally is a younger event.

Yozhik

Aswimfan, you are taking me too seriously. Should my proposal be objective and scientific then I would submit it as my doctoral thesis tomorrow 🙂 But it is still the way to get some idea about how achievement of particular girl stands within women competition. If you say that some girl is ranked number 30 then I got some idea how good she is. The records are another story. We cannot compare them with anything because they are records. So using man scale is one of many approaches.

aswimfan

comparing to men’s ranking is actually one of the worst approaches.

For example, there are multiple times more men who swim 100 fly than there are those who swim 1500 free.
For example, there are only 49 men swimming 1,500 in Kazan, while there are 80 men swimming 100 fly.
Now, multiply that number by how many national and international meets throughout the years and the men 100 fly ranking is even exponentially much deeper than men 1500 free ranking.

There are much greater depth in men 100 fly than men 1500 free, so it is very obvious that this would give Ledecky’s WR much bigger advantage and put Sjostrom under unfair comparisons.

I’m sorry if I was taking you seriously because I read in your comment above “accuracy” “benchmark” “reasonable”

Those sound like serious words to me 🙂
Forgive me if I’m wrong.

aswimfan

Comparison with men’s ranking could be a bit more reasonable if the events are similar in depth and in gaps, for example 100 back and fly.

But to compare such disparate and different events such as 100 fly vs. 200 IM vs. 1,500 is an exercise in futility.

Yozhik

I forgive you. Vaya con dios. Nobody puts gun to your head. Use the best approach if you know such.

Yozhik

Ok, Aswimfan. If you don’t like my “antiscientific” approach let’s return to emotional one. I think that for many people watching Ledecky’s races is like attending great performances. She charges me with so much energy and optimism like no other swimmer. The following will give you some idea what I am talking about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LUm-E4GPU8. On this scale Katie and Sarah share first place and Iron Lady follows them (too much iron to my taste 🙂 )

aswimfan

IMO, the best way would be by performing statistical analysis how much the WRs altered the WR trajectory line established by previous WRs. And then we can compare deviations between the three WRs

In 2012, there was a similar exercise done by somebody in another website on Magnussen’s 47.10, as a response to Mel Stewart’s claim that Magnussen’s 47.10 was simply a natural progression of the men WR instead of a groundbreaking swim.
The stats analysis showed that Magnussen’s 47.10 actually altered the straight WR progression line upward, and thus was actually stronger than previous WRs by PVDH, Popov, Biondi.

We can do similar analysis to each Hosszu’s, Sjostrom, and Ledecky (of course after throwing out all shiny suit WRs beforehand), and then see and compare which one altered their respective WR progression the most.

But I’m sorry, I can’t do it now.. you are very much welcome if you want to do it 🙂

Craig Lord

I don’t think that quite works Yozhik, in that the spread of ‘quality’, the numbers own protagonists etc in the 100m events is much deeper than the 1500m; a quick glance of points and how deep you need to go to get to No 50, No 100 No 200, 300, etc, in each season, a range of seasons and all-time confirms as much; so you wouldn’t be comparing like for like across distances.
At that surface measure you suggest, then clearly Ledecky’s 1500m is the swim of the meet so far. But as I suggest, it does;t work like that: she’s in the top 80 1500m male swims this year with her WR; but her 400m at 3:59, 4sec ahead of her nearest peer, ranks her outside the top 300 men this season. The sums and what we draw from them don’t work on the model you suggest.

aswimfan

Yozhik,

I respect your anti-scientific method 🙂
And your reasons for picking Ledecky’s and Sarah’s over Hosszu is reasonable and fair.

I guess for me, I had expected both Sjostrom and Ledecky to swim those times (Ledecky swam 15:28 in much less than ideal conditions in Australia last year and Sjostrom’s WR is a looonggg time coming) , while I totally had never expected anyone to break or even got close to Kukors’ WR for more than a decade.
Therefore, Sjostrom’s and Ledecky’s WRs, as exhilarating as they were, had less impact on me than Hosszu’s WR.

Yozhik

Aswimfan I think it is not a secret to you that there are 12 hours difference between our places. And when you are at full capacity I am almost sleeping already. Instead of joking and teasing to raise my mood before going to bed you want me to engage in serious discussion. It is fine with me, but if you don’t mind I will do it tomorrow. Also you are again mentioning some sources without making explicit references. You did it once discussing Shane Gould. You fooled me pretending that you are familiar with some important information that can help to understand conditions of competitive swimming in 70s. If you give me explicit references that explain the model you mention I will consider it seriously. Otherwise I won’t probably spend time thinking of what you wrote because it can be just bla-bla-bla.

Yozhik

Craig, what I suggested was some idea that just came to my head and to which I have never given serious thoughts before. I am not even sure that it worth to do. Now after reading yours and Aswimfan comments I will get to it seriously, because since there is some critics then there is something exists to be criticized. If I find it deserving further development I will do it and will come to you back with something more grounded with the estimation of conditions where it can be applicable. Write now I am not ready for that. Sorry.

Yozhik

* read “right” instead of “write”

aswimfan

Yozhik,

You claimed: “You fooled me pretending that you are familiar with some important information that can help to understand conditions of competitive swimming in 70s.”
when did I “fool” you about condition of competitive swimming in the 1970s?

As for the other references (the one about Mel Stewart), it is not ethical for me to mention a competitor swimming website to Swimvortex. Google it.

And I thought I was pretty clear with the method:
1. create a linear regression analysis of all previous WRs (excluding shiny ones), then you get a straight line. If you don’t know, then here it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regression_analysis
2. locate the new WR on that graph
3. Then you can calculate the degree between that dot and the line

Do this for all three new WRs, and then compare which one has the largest degree, and you get your answer.

Wez

@Haakon,

I think this is very much the case.
Chads “ability” to swim the 50m SC is because of his starts and turns. He does not have the raw speed, or muscle to really be a factor long course (for the moment).

He, much like Phelps, has the ability to swim out the first 50 relatively close to his 50 PB due to his technique.

Felix Sanchez

This is a special performance, not just in swimming, but in sport. To swim the first 800m faster than anyone else has ever swum the 800, then come home equal to the second best 800 (obviously the middle 100 counting twice) points to a possibly unique measure of domination. It looks like Ledecky could beat any two other swimmers in the world swimming as a two person relay. If Boyle and Carlin swam 750m each (at their best 800 pace averaging 62sec 100s), Ledecky (on a 15.25) should beat them. She would even have a chance against her three closest rivals swimming 500 each if they had to take over in the water and so miss out on the boost of two extra dives.

Of course, this doesn’t help those comparing the performance to Sjostrom or Hosszu, with speed drop off over short distances being much higher, but I would like to know if anyone has seen something similar in sport. For comparison, the great Ethiopian runner Kenenisa Bekele has track WRs of 12.37 over 5000m, and 26.17 over 10000m. A good few other runners have run 13 minute 5000m times, so two of them running together could run a 26 minute 10000m and beat him quite comfortably.

aswimfan

Felix Sanchez,

Kieren Perkins broke 800 WR on his way to 1,500 WR.
That would be like Ledecky swimming 8:10 on her way to 15:25.

Felix Sanchez

I saw that point about Perkins’ WR on the other thread. While it was informative, it was slightly misleading there as the men’s 800m isn’t anyone’s main focus, and back then wasn’t even in the worlds. I think in that discussion Friis’ 2013 1500m would have been worth a mention.

Perkins at his best was averaging just under 59sec 100s for the 1500m, with Sun’s WR at 15.31 we’re getting close to averaging 58, but not there yet. The best distance swimmers, like Cochrane and Paltinieri, aren’t focused on the 800, but can average under 58sec 100s when they swim their 800m.

Ledecky’s swim was faster than anyone’s 800 front end and back end. When Perkins first broke the 800 WR his average speed over the whole 1500m was still slower than the average speed of the previous 800m record.

JMott76

Thanks aswimfan/Yozhik, brilliant analysis as usual.

Great post Felix. When you put it in terms of the next two fastest not being able to beat her, well… that really does hammer home the freakishness of what she’s doing. Off top of my head, only peak Bolt comes to mind as similarly off-the-charts, but there may be others?

Felix Sanchez

Thanks JMott. Bolt was certainly off the charts on his way up; though hard to use that mechanism with track sprinting, where the start is the slowest part and so much of the race is the acceleration. Wouldn’t like to say that Ledecky’s performance was better than people in other sports, just that it might be a unique form of dominance.

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