U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky embraces teammate Erica Sullivan after winning the women’s 1500-meter freestyle.

Matthias Schrader/AP


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Matthias Schrader/AP


U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky embraces teammate Erica Sullivan after winning the women’s 1500-meter freestyle.

Matthias Schrader/AP

Katie Ledecky has won her first gold of the Tokyo Olympics, in the 1,500 meter freestyle race.

Ledecky smacked the water down in celebration at the end of the arduous swim, and hugged her teammate Erica Sullivan, who took silver.

The biggest star of U.S. swimming has not had the start to these Olympics that she wanted.

In her first race, the 400 meter freestyle, she was narrowly edged out of gold by her chief rival, Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus.

Titmus beat her again on Wednesday morning Tokyo time in the 200 meter freestyle. Ledecky did not make it to the podium in that race, placing fifth.

But in the women’s 1,500 meters – the first time for the event at the Olympics – Ledecky dominated. The long-distance swim is nearly a mile, and Ledecky was in the lead for the entire time.



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