Katie Ledecky has started her quest to become one of the all-time great Olympic swimmers. On Monday, the 24-year-old, who has won five gold medals, finished in second place behind Ariarne Titmus in the women's 400m freestyle final. Ledecky won the event at the 2016 Olympics and holds the world record.
According to PEOPLE, Titmus was able to beat Ledecky by less than a second. The individual silver medal is Ledecky's first in her Olympic career. "Honestly, at the 200m I was a bit worried, but I did not come to the Olympic Games unprepared. I had to trust myself and stay as composed as I could. Use the speed that I have," Titmus said, adding about Ledecky: "And all that against a woman who has an amazing back end of her race. I'm really proud."
THAT FINISH 😱
Ariarne Titmus knocks off Katie Ledecky and wins gold in the women’s 400m freestyle 🥇July 26, 2021
Ledecky told reporters she did everything she could to win but came up a little short. "I couldn't do much better than that. A tremendous race. A lot of fun. I can't be too disappointed. It was my second best swim ever (in 400m freestyle). I felt like I fought tooth and nail and that's all you can ask for," she said, while also adding, "Of course you always want to hear your national anthem, but I'm proud of how I swam and how I got to that point. It's not an easy journey, it's never an easy journey to the podium, and so it's not something I take for granted, being up there."
Ledecky won four gold medals and one silver at the 2016 Olympic games and one gold at the 2012 games in London. She has a chance to add more medals very soon as she will compete in the women's 200m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events. When speaking to PopCulture.com in May, Ledecky teased her "biggest goal" heading into the Tokyo Olympics.
"I just hope to be the best version of myself," Ledecky said. She went on to say that she wants to" "represent team USA well, represent my family well, represent myself well, and I have personal goals for myself that I won't share, but you know, it's a really exciting time."