Though 8 swimmers dove into the pool at the beginning of the women’s 400-meter freestyle final on Sunday night, 7 of them may also have stayed home, for most the opportunity they ever needed of winning. Katie Ledecky, the 19-year-old American that has justly turn out to be the face (and arms and legs and shoulders) of the Rio Games, broken her own world record in the event, completing in 3:56:46—almost 5 seconds ahead of the field.
“Katie Ledecky appears like she is ready to not alone win Olympic gold, but lower her own world record,” told Dan Hicks at the outset of the race. A few seconds later, noticing he might have understated the spread between Ledecky and all other swimmer in the pool, he said:
“It’s only about Ledecky, how quickly she will go, because it’s a foregone ending she’s gonna succeed this race.” When she touched the wall, her whole body was ahead of the on-screen world-record line. Ledecky didn’t defeat the world record. She kicked the world record.