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Katie Ledecky claims her 6th gold in Olympic debut of 1500-meter race

Team USA's Erica Sullivan came in second.
Swimming - Olympics: Day 5
Katie Ledecky of Team United States celebrates with teammate Erica Sullivan after winning the Women's 1500m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021.Tom Pennington / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

American swimmer Katie Ledecky, 24, claimed her sixth career gold in the Olympic debut of the women's 1500-meter freestyle race on Wednesday.

This, despite being shut out of the medal podium for her first time ever in her Olympic career earlier in the competition. Ledecky had failed to medal in the 200-meter event, she noted in an interview with NBC News after her historic 1500-meter race.

"I knew it was going to be tough after the 200, but I just moved the page forward and moved on and really got my mindset right and I knew it was going to be tough," she explained, adding she was "so happy" for her teammate, Erica Sullivan.

Sullivan finished 4.07 seconds behind Ledecky.

"Honestly, there was a point when I saw Katie ahead of me and she was the only one and it really gave me the energy, having someone you look up to for years and seeing them a few meters, or several meters in front of you, and using it to get home," Sullivan said.

This was the first Olympics women have been allowed to swim the 1,500 meter event. Ledecky was strongly favored to win gold going into the race.

She's the most decorated female swimmer in history and already won a silver medal in the 400 freestyle on Monday.