Tokyo 2020: Katie Ledecky wins third consecutive Olympic gold in 800m freestyle

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USA's Katie Ledecky reacts after winning gold in the final of the women's 800m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 31, 2021. (AFP via Getty Images)
USA's Katie Ledecky reacts after winning gold in the final of the women's 800m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 31, 2021. (AFP via Getty Images)

Team USA swimming star Katie Ledecky has won her third consecutive 800m freestyle Olympic gold.

The 24-year-old American now has six career individual gold medals, the most for any female swimmer in Olympic history, as well as three silver medals.

Ledecky led all the way in a race she has not lost since 2010, and touched home ahead of her biggest rival, Australian Ariarne Titmus, who took silver, and Italy’s Simona Quadarella who took bronze.

With her victory she has became just the fourth in swimming history to win three titles in a row at a single event.

Ledecky now owns the top 24 times ever at the distance, and the time by Titmus of 8:13.83 is the second fastest ever swum by anyone other than the American.

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Immediately after the race Ledecky dismissed any suggestion she may have taken part in her final Olympic race, and said she would be competing at Paris 2024, and maybe even in Los Angeles in 2028.

“Oh that was not my last swim. I am at least going to ‘24, maybe ‘28, we’ll see” she told NBC.

Ledecky added the 800m title to the 1500m freestyle gold she won earlier in the week, after being beaten by Titmus in the 200m and 400m freestyle.

The American swimmer will take home silver medals in the women’s 400m freestyle and also in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

The 800m win was the first time at Tokyo that Ledecky finished ahead of Titmus in an individual race.

Her 15-year-old teammate Katie Grimes, the youngest American swimmer since Amanda Beard competed in 1996 at age 14, finished fourth.

Ledecky has now finished all of her events at the games.

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