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Katie Ledecky, Gretchen Walsh punch tickets to Paris at US Olympic Swimming Trials

Written by on June 17, 2024

(INDIANAPOLIS) — The 2024 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials are underway in Indianapolis and Katie Ledecky, the greatest female swimmer in U.S. history, has already made her fourth Olympics team in Paris.

Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky punches Olympics ticket to Paris

The superstar swimmer from Maryland swam the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.35 to cement her place on Team USA at the upcoming Summer Games.

Ledecky was a full body length ahead of her competition for much of the race and was the only swimmer to break four minutes.

The seven-time Olympic gold medalist has 21 world championship titles and first made a splash with her 800-meter freestyle gold at just 15 years old at the 2012 London Games.

Ledecky has since become an Olympic champion at every freestyle distance from 200 meters to 1,500 meters.

Now, she’s the eighth American swimmer to qualify for four Olympic Games.

Others making a splash at US Olympic Swimming Trials

A world record was smashed on Saturday with a shocking swim in the semis by 21-year-old Gretchen Walsh, one of the young stars for Team USA.

The 6-foot-2 University of Virginia product set a new world record in 55.18 seconds in the semifinals of the 100-meter butterfly, which smashed the previous record of 55.48 by Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjöström set in 2016.

Walsh had never recorded a time below 56 seconds until Saturday.

While she didn’t lower her world record, Walsh locked up a spot in Paris with a win in the finals on Sunday. Walsh, then 18, just missed out on the Tokyo Games, but she’ll be featured prominently on the U.S. team in Paris.

The best story of the trials so far belongs to Gabrielle Rose.

The 46-year-old two-time Olympian — who last competed at the Sydney Summer Games in 2000 — shocked everyone by coming out of her qualifying heat to make the 100-meter breaststroke semis. Rose has been swimming in seniors events and decided to give the trials a try after swimming some of the best times of her life. Sadly, the Cinderella story came to an end with a fifth place finish in the semifinals on Sunday, but she still notched her personal best time.

Of the 16 women who made the semis in the 100-meter breaststroke, only Lilly King was alive when Rose swam in Sydney 24 years ago.

King, the queen of the breaststroke, cruised to first place in the semis with a time of 1:05.57 and is set to jump back in the pool on Monday for the finals. King, a five-time Olympic medalist, is aiming to make her third U.S. team in Paris.

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