Katie Ledecky is taking names and setting records in Rio. The 19-year-old just won not only her fifth 2016 Olympic medal (and fourth gold), but just set a new world record for the 800-meter freestyle, The New York Times reported on Friday. Ledecky broke the record on Friday night, swimming the event in 8 minutes and 4.79 seconds, well ahead of Great Britain’s Jazz Carlin, who finished at 8 minutes 16.17 seconds for the silver medal. But more importantly, Ledecky beat her own personal best. She finished the race a full two seconds faster than the previous record, which she set only seven months ago. That, in turn, beat her previous world record in the event, The Washington Post reported at the time.
Like a true champ, Ledecky never doubted herself. She told NBC Sports right after the race that she knew “right from the start” that she was going to get the time she wanted. “It felt good the whole way through,” she said, grinning from ear to ear. “I could feel that it was faster than any other swim I’ve had.” But if Ledecky was all class and decorum in victory, Leslie Jones spoke for basically the rest of us when she completely and utterly lost her cool over Ledecky’s incredible win.
What makes Ledecky’s win even more incredible is that she has been absolutely crushing it across the board. So far, she’s won gold in the women’s 200-meter freestyle, the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, the 400-meter freestyle, and silver in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay — and that’s not even counting her medal in the 2012 Olympics, where she also took home gold for the 800-meter freestyle when she was only 15 years old. Last night’s race was her last event, so for all the new Ledecky fans out there, you’ll have to wait to see her break any more records. Fortunately, if precedent is anything to go by, we might not have to wait long at all.