American Katie Ledecky scored another ho-hum victory Tuesday at the swimming world championships in Budapest, winning the 1,500-meter freestyle title by a tidy 19 seconds over Spain’s Mireia Belmonte. And while her time of 15:31.82 was more than six seconds off her own world-record pace, the title did break new ground: It was the 12th world championship gold medal of Ledecky’s career, breaking her tie with Missy Franklin for the most in women’s swimming history.
Here’s the view right after Ledecky touched the wall. No, she wasn’t swimming by herself, though it may seem that way.
Michael Phelps holds the men’s record with 26 world championships.
Ledecky wasn’t finished with Tuesday’s 1,500 freestyle. A mere 47 minutes after dominating a race that required more than 15 minutes of swimming, she won her 200 freestyle semifinal heat with a time of 1:54.69, 0.3 of a second faster than second-place Emma McKeon of Australia.
“It’s hard the other 364 days of the year,” Ledecky said of her routine, per the Associated Press. “It’s putting the work in for practice, so when I get to this day of the meet, I can just do it. It’s routine. Just get up and know that I have the work in the bank to get up and swim those times.”
Ledecky is attempting to win six gold medals at this year’s world championships, which also would tie a women’s record set by Franklin.