Katie Ledecky was the youngest swimmer on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012 and 2016, but this past week, and especially Saturday night, the Olympic Trials showed the next generation arrived.
Ten teenage women have qualified for the U.S. Olympic swim team, with another possible on the final day Sunday. It’s the most since 1996.
Ledecky, 24, completed her Olympic Trials with her fourth victory in as many events, taking the 800m freestyle in 18:14.62. It’s her signature event, which she won at the 2012 Olympics at age 15, in 8:14.63. She is undefeated since and owns the 23 fastest times in history.
Her time Saturday wasn’t one of those 23, but it’s still faster than any other active woman has swum. She earned her eighth career Olympic Trials win, breaking the female record she shared with Katie Hoff and Tracy Caulkins (Michael Phelps won 16).
“I haven’t been super happy with my times, but I still feel like I’m in a good spot,” Ledecky said, summarizing her week and looking ahead to swimming five or six events in Tokyo when including relays. “I’m not comparing myself to my past.”
Read More: NBC Olympics