Katie Ledecky’s first two gold medals at the Rio Games were solo efforts. On Wednesday night, she let her 4x200-meter freestyle relay teammates join in on the fun, carrying the United States to victory in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay on Wednesday night.
It was the third gold and fourth medal total for the 19-year-old teen in Rio and her fourth career gold medal. On Tuesday, she won the 200 and 400 freestyle events.
The U.S. trailed through the first three legs of Wednesday night’s race, with Sweden, China and Australia trading places at the top. Then Ledecky came on and blew them all away.
Ledecky turned in a split of 1 minute, 53.74 seconds, which was nearly 2 1/2 seconds faster than her next-fastest teammate, Allison Schmitt in 1:56.21.
Only one other swimmer in the race, Australia’s Emma McKeon, got within a second of Ledecky.
The U.S. finished in 7 minutes, 43.03 seconds, with Ledecky a full body length ahead of Tamsin Cook, who touched in 7:44.87 to give Australia the silver. Canada took the bronze in 7:45.39.
Ledecky has one more race to go, and it might be the biggest lock of all. She’s the world-record holder and defending Olympic champion in the 800 free.
Debbie Meyer is the only female swimmer to capture the three longest freestyle events at a single Olympics, winning the 200, 400 and 800 at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
Compiled by Stu Rosenberg