Katie Ledecky on Sunday fell just short of her sixth Olympic gold medal in the highly anticipated 400-meter freestyle, stunned with a second-place finish after recording the second-fastest time of her career.
Unfortunately for Ledecky, rival Ariarne Titmus of Australia swam the second-fastest time in history, clocking in at 3:56.69.
Ledecky was unable to defend her gold medal in the event, despite swimming it in 3:57.36. Titmus is the first woman to beat Ledecky in an individual event at the Olympics.
“She really pushed me and I think it’s good for the sport,” Ledecky said of Titmus after the American took silver.
It was her first piece of hardware from Tokyo, and it probably won’t be her last.
Ledecky is the first swimmer in the world — male or female — to attempt to race every individual freestyle race, regardless of distance.