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Katie Ledecky extends 13-year win streak with 14-second win

Katie Ledecky

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 29: Katie Ledecky reacts after winning the Women’s 800 Meter Freestyle Final on day 1 of the Toyota US Open on November 29, 2023 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

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Katie Ledecky extended her 13-year win streak in her trademark event on the first night of the Toyota U.S. Open.

Ledecky clocked 8 minutes, 15.91 seconds in the 800m freestyle in Greensboro, North Carolina, to open her first full meet since July’s world championships.

She won by 14 seconds over Paige Madden. Ledecky owns the 29 fastest times in history in the event (if also including 800-meter splits from 1500m races).

Her last defeat in an 800m free came when she was 13 years old: beaten by a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old at the 2010 Potomac Valley Championships in Maryland.

U.S. OPEN: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Also Wednesday, Charlie Clark became the first American to win an 800m free over Bobby Finke in four years, touching in 7:50.49. Finke, the Olympic 800m and 1500m free gold medalist, placed fourth, 4.41 seconds behind.

The U.S. Open continues with finals on Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. ET, live on Peacock.

On Thursday, Ledecky and Canadian Summer McIntosh are expected to duel in the 400m free. At last year’s U.S. Open, Ledecky edged McIntosh by eight hundredths.

McIntosh then broke the world record in March, after which Ariarne Titmus of Australia rebroke it to win the world title by a whopping 3.35 seconds over Ledecky, who held the world record from 2016 to 2022.

The other U.S. Open headliner is seven-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel, who swims the 50m free on Thursday, the 100m butterfly on Friday and the 100m free on Saturday.

Dressel swims his first full meet since nationals five months ago. He did not make the team for July’s worlds while ramping back up from a months-long break from the sport after withdrawing during the 2022 Worlds on unspecified medical grounds.