Katie Ledecky Wins 800m Freestyle at 2022 World Swimming Championships

Adam WellsJune 24, 2022

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 24: Katie Ledecky of Team United States celebrates after winning Gold in the Women's 800m Freestyle Final on day seven of the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships at Duna Arena on June 24, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

If it was possible to lap the field at a swimming event, Katie Ledecky nearly accomplished that feat during the women's 800-meter freestyle at the 2022 World Championships on Friday.

The American superstar won gold with a time of 8 minutes, 8.04 seconds, almost 11 seconds faster than silver medalist Kiah Melverton of Australia (8:18.77).

USA Swimming @USASwimming

π”π§π¬π­π¨π©π©πšπ›π₯𝐞. 😀<a href="https://twitter.com/katieledecky?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@katieledecky</a> wins her 𝐟𝐒𝐟𝐭𝐑 800m free title in 8:08.04!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINABudapest2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FINABudapest2022</a> <a href="https://t.co/ScjR6SapfN">pic.twitter.com/ScjR6SapfN</a>

Christine Brennan @cbrennansports

We need some good news. Here’s some good news: Katie Ledecky doing Katie Ledecky things at the world championships. Her signature event, the 800 free. Wins by a mile. Her fifth-fastest time ever and fastest in four years. Dominating at 25 with the Paris Olympics two years away. <a href="https://t.co/jQhEsu6X74">pic.twitter.com/jQhEsu6X74</a>

The win gave Ledecky her fourth gold medal at the 2022 championship and 22 career medals at the World Championships.

Pat Forde @ByPatForde

Katie Ledecky just won the 800 freestyle at World Championships by nearly 11 seconds, her fastest time in the event since 2018. Her fourth gold medal at this meet. Don’t let her excellence get old, because we won’t ever see it replicated.

Bill Mallon @bambam1729

With win in women’s 800 FS, Katie Ledecky achieves following @ WC:<br><br>19 gold medals – surpasses Ryan Lochte’s 18, trails only Michael Phelps’ 26<br><br>22 medals – 3rd all-time aftr Phelps 33, Lochte 27<br><br>14th individual gold medal – trails only Phelps 15<br><br>All above r female records 1/n

On Thursday, Ledecky broke the women's record for most career medals won at the World Championships. She captured her 21st medal in the 4x200 free relay when the United States squad finished first.

Friday was the cherry on top of what has been an incredible week for the 25-year-old. She entered the 800 free as a heavy favorite after winning gold in this event at each of the previous four World Championships dating back to 2013.

In the qualifying heats for the 800 on Thursday, Ledecky finished seven seconds faster than the No. 2 swimmer (Lani Pallister). Her qualifying time of 8:17.51 would have been good enough to win gold in the final.

Ledecky's 19 gold medals are the second-most by a female swimmer in World Championships history. Synchronized swimmer Svetlana Romashina won 21 golds from 2005-19.

The Stanford alum has wrapped up her event schedule for this week in Budapest, Hungary. She was originally expected to compete in the 200 free after winning at the U.S. swimming trials in April, but she was dropped from the event when the roster was released in May.

After the Tokyo Olympics last summer, Ledecky announced her intention to compete at the 2024 Paris Games. She already has 10 medals in her Olympic career, including seven golds.

The Maryland native needs one more gold to tie Jenny Thompson's all-time Olympic record for female swimmers. She is only two medals away from tying Thompson and Dara Torres for most all-time by a female Olympic swimmer (12).