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American Ledecky Breaks 1,500 Freestyle Swim Record at Barcelona

U.S. Swimmer Katie Ledecky
U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky competes in the final of the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming event at the World Championships in Barcelona on July 30, 2013. Photographer: Francois Xavier Marit/AFP via Getty Images

Katie Ledecky of the U.S. swam the fastest ever 1,500-meter freestyle to win the event at the world championships in Barcelona.

Ledecky, 16, of Bethesda, Maryland, was one of three gold medalists for the U.S. last night. Missy Franklin, 18, and Matt Grevers, 28, won the 100-meter backstroke finals.

Ledecky’s time of 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds broke the previous record by more than six seconds as she outdueled defending world champion Lotte Friis of Denmark, whose second-place time also beat the mark of 15:42.54 set by Kate Ziegler on June 17, 2007.

Ledecky already had a gold in the 400-meter freestyle, while Franklin added to her 400-meter freestyle relay gold.

Yannick Agnel of France won his second gold medal, in the men’s 200-meter freestyle, to accompany a 400-meter freestyle relay win.

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