Katie Ledecky celebrates after setting a new world record time of 15:36.53 in the 1500m freestyle final at the World Championships in Barcelona. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Katie Ledecky crushed the world record in the 1,500 freestyle for her second gold medal at the world swimming championships in Barcelona.
The 16-year-old from Bethesda, Md., barely missed the world record in the 400 freestyle, but there was no doubt it would fall in the 1,500. Ledecky and defending world champion Lotte Friis went at it stroke for stroke much of the race, the Danish swimmer slightly ahead.
But Ledecky edged out front at the 1,300 mark and began to pull away, looking as strong at the end as she did at the beginning. Her time of 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds beat the previous mark by more than 6 seconds -- Kate Ziegler's 15:42.54 in 2007.
Friis also went under the old record, 15:38.88, but it was only good enough for silver.