July 30 - America's 16-year-old swimming sensation Katie Ledecky set a world record in the women's 1500 metres at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, blowing away the field to take over six seconds off the previous record held by compatriot Kate Ziegler since 2007.
Ledecky found herself in a duel with defending champion Lotte Friis of Denmark as the pair pushed the race onto world record pace, but it was Ledecky who found a second wind, kicking on in the final 200 metres to touch first in 15mins 36.53sec, ahead of Friis who finished in 15:38.88, also inside the world record mark.
"I knew we were going pretty fast, and I figured whoever was going to come out on top was going to get the world record," Ledecky said after adding another gold medal to the 400m title she won earlier in the Championships.
"I had to be careful not to push it too early, not to push it too late, and just touch the wall first.
"Around the last 200 [metres], I knew I could take off."
Ledecky was not the only American teenager making waves in Barcelona, as her team-mate, the 18-year-old quadruple Olympic champion Missy Franklin, cruised to victory in the 100m backstroke to win her second gold medal of the Championships and keep her in with a shout of emulating compatriot Michael Phelps by completing a clean sweep of eight medals at a major championships.
Franklin came in first in a time of 58.42sec, ahead of Australia's Emily Seebohm, who took silver with a time of 59.06, and bronze medallist Aya Terakawa of Japan who finished in 59.23, and kept celebrations to a minimum before easily qualifying for tomorrow's 200m final.
And the US golden treble was completed by double Olympic champion Matt Grevers, who was also successful in the 100m backstroke after sneaking in ahead of team-mate David Plummer in silver to touch in 52.93, condemning defending champion Jeremy Stravius of France to a bronze medal.
France did get the better of the Americans later in the day, however. when Olympic champion Yannick Agnel went clear in the men's 200m freestyle to take the gold medal in a time of 1:44.20, finishing ahead of American Conor Dwyer in silver, Russia's Danila Izotov in bronze and America's four-time Olympic champion Ryan Lochte, who put in a disappointing performance to finish fourth.
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