Cyprus Mail
Sport

Teenagers rule in the pool

By Iain Rogers
American teenager Katie Ledecky slashed six seconds off the world record to win gold in the women’s 1,500 metres freestyle at the world championships in Barcelona on Tuesday.
The 16-year-old, who also took the 400 metres freestyle title on Sunday, touched in a time of 15 minutes 36.53 seconds to destroy the previous best of 15:42.54 set by compatriot Kate Ziegler in 2007.
Lotte Friis of Denmark led for much of the race at the hilltop Palau Sant Jordi, with Ledecky lurking on her shoulder, but could not match the American’s late burst and finished with silver in 15:38.88, also inside Ziegler’s mark.
Lauren Boyle of New Zealand was third in 15:44.71 ahead of Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia in 15:58.83.
“It was really tough, my hardest race ever,” Ledecky told reporters.
“I knew we were going pretty fast and I figured that whoever came out on top was probably going to get the world record.
“I had to be careful not to push it too early or push it too late and just touch the wall first.”
Later in the evening, fellow 16-year-old, Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte won the 100 metres breaststroke gold with a time just outside the world record she set in Monday’s qualifying.
The Olympic champion touched in a time of one minute 04.42 seconds, seven hundredths slower than Monday’s blistering effort of 1:04.35.
Yuliya Efimova of Russia took silver in 1:05.02, matching her result from the 2009 championships in Rome, and American Jessica Hardy, who held the world record before Meilutyte, bronze in 1:05.52.

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