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Ledecky, Friis set for record chasing clash

August 2, 2013

Katie Ledecky 1

Sixteen-year-old American swimming sensation Katie Ledecky faces a familiar foe as she goes in search of a fourth Fina World Championship gold medal in the 800m freestyle in Barcelona on Saturday evening.

Ledecky smashed the world record in the women’s 1 500m final on Wednesday to relegate Denmark’s Lotte Friis into second place despite the fact she too had bettered the previous world record held by Kate Ziegler.

The Olympic champion was again paired with Friis for Friday’s final heat of the 800m as the American looks to boost her collection of golds in Barcelona after also heading the podium in the 400m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay.

Ledecky again just pipped Friis to victory and looked remarkably fresh having swum in the 4x200m relay final just over 12 hours previously.

“It’s just a matter of recovering well now and thankfully I have another 36 hours before I have to swim again,” she said.

“I just want to do my best and carry the momentum from the start of the week into my final race.”

Another world record looks well within Ledecky’s reach as she was just 0.53 of a second behind Rebecca Adlington‘s time from the Beijing Olympics five years ago when she stormed to victory at the American trials in Indianapolis last month.

And she is hoping to round off her amazing meet with another stellar performance.

“I want to end on a bang so we’ll have to wait and see about the world record. I’ve set myself up well with that swim.”

Meanwhile, far from being weighed down by an exhausting schedule over the past week, Friis believes Ledecky’s youth will be an advantage as she looks to set another world record.

“Katie is an amazing swimmer and she is only 16 so she is going to recover really quickly,” she said.

Friis had admitted to experiencing mixed emotions earlier in the week as world record breaking attempt was only enough to land her a silver medal.

And after also claiming silver in the 800m at the world championships two years ago, she accepted that she might just be swimming for second place once more when she stands on the blocks on Saturday night.

“I can only focus on myself; my race, my strategy and hope it is enough to get close to her and beat the others.”

Sapa – AFP

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