Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps Win Gold at Sunday Night's Swimming Races as American Heroes

Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps Win Gold at Sunday Night's Swimming Races as American Heroes

Read more from No Punt Intended at nopuntintendedsports.wordpress.com.

Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps made their Rio Olympic debuts as American heroes. Both Ledecky and Phelps took home gold in their races on Sunday night. Not only did they both win gold, but they destroyed their competition while representing their country. Last night, the two swimmers proved why they are American heroes, adding to their numerous gold medals. 

19 year old, Katie Ledecky, smashed her own world record in the 400m freestyle race last night. Heavily favored to win, Ledecky was able to lead her competition by more than half a body length after only 50m into the race. From there, it was smooth sailing for the young swimmer and gold was practically guaranteed.

All that was left was to beat her own world record. Not only did she beat her record, but she smashed it by two seconds, finishing with a time of 3:56:46. Ledecky's time gave her almost a five second margin over silver medalist Jazz Carlin Smith of Great Britain who finished with a time of 4:01:23.

Now Ledecky has two medals in two days and many more upcoming opportunities to medal. She also won silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay on Saturday. She will likely compete against the Swedish star Sarah Sjostrom in the 200 freestyle on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she will swim the anchor leg in the 800 freestyle relay. On Friday, she will compete to beat her own world record in the 800 free.

Ledecky could possibly sweep the freestyle events from 200 to 800. If she does so, she will be the first Olympian to do so since American Debbie Meyer in 1968.

After Ledecky made America proud, 23-time Olympic medalist and 19-time Olympic gold medalist Michale Phelps and the rest of his relay team followed and won gold for USA in the 4x100m freestyle relay. The team was made up of Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian. The team had an all around very strong performance and won gold because of it. France won silver and Australia passed Russia at the last second for Bronze. 

"It felt good to get, after my last 400 free relay of my career, this thing around my neck," said Phelps to USA today, touching his gold medal. "It feels good to get it back."

Phelps did not compete in this event in the Olympic trials six weeks ago, so when he was added to the team, he felt he needed to prove he wasn't only placed on the team because he was hand selected by his long-time personal coach.

"He proved that he belongs there," Nathan Adrian said. "He's the first to say that if he wasn't in a place to step up and throw an amazing leg down, he would be the first to step down. He's 100% a team player,"

Phelps's 47.12 second leg was the fastest relay split he's ever swam in his career. He began his final Olympics with a successful race and has many more opportunities to win gold in the upcoming events. Phelps will compete in the 200m butterfly on Monday, the 200m individual medley on Wednesday, and the 100m butterfly on Thursday.

Both Ledecky and Phelps made America proud on Sunday night and will continue to do so in the upcoming events, where they are heavily favored to win.


Published by Lia Assimakopoulos

Comment here...

Login / Sign up for adding comments.