After losing in the women's 400-meter freestyle to Australia's Ariarne Titmus on Wednesday, U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky responded back with a dominating performance in the women's 1500m free final, becoming the first-ever gold medalist in the event.
Wednesday marked the first time women could swim in the event at the Olympic Games.
Ledecky, who made her Olympic debut as a 15-year-old at the 2012 Olympics in London, completed the event in 15:37.34, followed by her U.S. teammate Erica Sullivan just 4.07 behind her. Germany's Sarah Kohler won the bronze medal with a time.
Ledecky, who now has six career gold medals, is tied with Allyson Felix and Amy Van Dyken for the most gold medals all-time by an American woman. Only American swimmer Jenny Thompson has more with eight.
After winning the event, a tearful Ledecky told the NBC broadcast that she simply wanted to "get the job done."
"I wanted to get the job done especially after losing in the 200 meters and I wanted to move the page forward," Ledecky said. "I think of all the great U.S. swimmers, so many people I look up to and I am glad that I could do it in the best possible way."
"I think people maybe feel bad for me that I'm not winning everything but I want people to be more concerned about other things going on in the world where people are truly suffering," Ledecky said, according to USA Today's Christine Brennan. "I'm just proud to bring home a gold medal to Team USA."
Beyond her historic feat, Ledecky was more than happy for her U.S. teammate Erica Sullivan, who won silver.
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