Thursday September 23, 2021

History-chasing Ledecky hungry for more

AFP
August 01, 2021

TOKYO: Katie Ledecky is in rarefied company on the all-time list of female Olympic swimmers after claiming two more golds in Tokyo but her hunger for glory shows no sign of abating.

The American came to Japan with five gold medals under her belt and triumphed in the 800m and 1500m freestyle after the disappointment of conceding her 200m and 400m titles to Australian rival Ariarne Titmus.

Only American Jenny Thompson is ahead of the 24-year-old on the all-time list of female Olympic gold medallists in swimming, with eight.

“I’m really happy, that’s the best way to put it,” an exhausted Ledecky said after outpacing Titmus by more than a second to claim her third straight 800m gold medal on Saturday.

“I still love this sport, I love it more every year. I’m going to give every ounce I have to this sport. I love the training, the day to day, so I’ll keep doing it until I think it’s time.”

Heading to Japan, the focus was firmly on the battle between Ledecky and Titmus, four years her junior.

The Australian beat her American rival in the 400m freestyle at the 2019 world championships but some questioned the result because Ledecky was suffering from illness at the meet.

There were no doubts about Titmus’s wins in the 200m and 400m this week as she usurped Ledecky as the best in the world over the shorter distances.

But the American outpaced Titmus in the 800m and stormed to victory in the 1500m, in which the Australian did not feature.