Tom Pennington/Getty Katie Ledecky
Katie Ledecky is making Olympic history.
The 24-year-old swimmer won her heat in the women's 1500m freestyle at the Tokyo Summer Games on Monday — and set an Olympic record in the process. This year marks the Olympic debut of the event, which has been part of the world championship competition since 2001.
The five-time gold medalist completed the race in 15:35.35. However, Ledecky has the capability of bringing in a much faster time as she currently holds the world record for the event: 15:20.48.
Her teammate Erica Sullivan also advanced to the finals with a time of 15:46.67.
The heat took place shortly after Ledecky competed in the women's 400m freestyle final — one of three events in which she is both the world record holder and the defending Olympic gold medalist.
However, in a shocking end to the race, she finished in second place behind Australian Ariarne Titmus, missing out on the gold by just 0.67 seconds.
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Monday's silver was Ledecky's first individual silver medal at an Olympic Games.
Although she didn't end up winning, Ledecky told reporters that she still "delivered" by bringing home a medal.
"I couldn't do much better than that," she said, adding that she "can't be too disappointed" by the results.
"It was my second best swim ever (in 400m freestyle). I felt like I fought tooth and nail and that's all you can ask for," she continued. "Of course you always want to hear your national anthem, but I'm proud of how I swam and how I got to that point. It's not an easy journey, it's never an easy journey to the podium, and so it's not something I take for granted, being up there."
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