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Katie Ledecky Wins 17th World Championship Gold in Women's 1500 Freestyle

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 20, 2022

USA's Katie Ledecky reacts after taking gold in the women's 1500m freestyle finals during the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena in Budapest on June 20, 2022. (Photo by Ferenc ISZA / AFP) (Photo by FERENC ISZA/AFP via Getty Images)
FERENC ISZA/AFP via Getty Images

Katie Ledecky returned to her throne as the world champion in the 1,500-meter women's freestyle.

The 25-year-old captured gold Monday at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. With a final time of 15:30.15, she finished nearly 15 seconds ahead of silver medalist Katie Grimes.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

DOMINANCE.<br><br>Katie Ledecky wins her 17th World Championship gold in the women's 1500 freestyle at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINABudapest2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINABudapest2022</a>. <a href="https://t.co/UZxJZNOXkH">pic.twitter.com/UZxJZNOXkH</a>

Ledecky cruised in qualifying for the final. She completed her heat in 15:47.02, the fastest overall time by 9.17 seconds.

The rest of the field didn't stand much of a chance when she held nothing back in the final. Grimes didn't even enter the frame on the broadcast until around five seconds after Ledecky touched the wall.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

KATIE SQUARED!<a href="https://twitter.com/katieledecky?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@katieledecky</a> wins her 17th World Championships gold in the women's 1500m freestyle as 16-year-old Katie Grimes wins silver.<a href="https://twitter.com/USASwimming?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USASwimming</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINABudapest2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINABudapest2022</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ <a href="https://twitter.com/peacockTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacockTV</a> and Olympic Channel: Home of <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamUSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamUSA</a><br><br>๐Ÿ’ป <a href="https://t.co/OTRz2BEuHE">https://t.co/OTRz2BEuHE</a> <a href="https://t.co/UxrAeI1uRE">pic.twitter.com/UxrAeI1uRE</a>

Ledecky's dominance in the 1,500-meter free is unparalleled. Not only does she hold the world record (15:20.48) in the event, but OlympicTalk noted she also has the 13 fastest times recorded.

With Monday's triumph, Ledecky is 2-for-2 in Budapest. She also won gold in the 400-meter freestyle Saturday. She was unable to avenge her runner-up finish to Australia's Ariarne Titmus in the 2021 Summer Olympics, though, as Titmus declined to make the trip to Budapest.

Ledecky is swimming in one more event: the 800-meter freestyle. She's the reigning world champion and will get her gold-medal defense underway during Thursday's qualifying heats. The final is scheduled for Friday.