RIO DE JANEIRO — Katie Ledecky completed a gold-plated Olympics on Friday by breaking her world record in the 800-meter freestyle.
The fourth gold medal of these Games for the 19-year-old from the Washington, D.C., area wasn’t a surprise — she he now holds the 13 fastest times ever in the event.
She finished in 8 minutes 4.79 seconds, about 11 seconds ahead of second-place Jazz Carlin of Britain. The previous record was 8:06.68.
The victory gave Ledecky another milestone. She is the first woman to sweep the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle races at the same Olympics since U.S. swimmer Debbie Meyer did so at Mexico City in 1968.
Ledecky, the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic swimming team, also won gold in the 800-meter freestyle relay and silver in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Maya DiRado pulls off surprise win in 200 backstroke
RIO DE JANEIRO — Maya DiRado touched the wall an instant ahead of Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu to pull of a surprising victory in the 200-meter backstroke Friday at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.
Hosszu, who swam for USC, had already won three gold medals at these Games. Her qualifying time in the 200 backstroke was a second and a half faster than DiRado.
But the 23 year old Stanford graduate swam down Hosszu in the final 25 meters. A look of shock covered her face when she turned to see the result on the scoreboard.
“That’s just pure joy and surprise and excitement,” she said.
DiRado, winner of medals in three other events during the past week, plans to retire from swimming following the Games. She already has a job lined up in Atlanta.
Anthony Ervin wins 50 freestyle gold
RIO DE JANEIRO — Anthony Ervin, the oldest U.S. man to swim an individual event in the Olympics since 1904, captured the 50-meter freestyle at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Friday.
The 35-year-old from Valencia, Calif., who tied for gold in the same race 16 years ago at the Sydney Olympics, finished in 21.40 seconds.
France’s star sprinter Florent Manaudou, the event’s heavy favorite, finished second by one hundredth of a second. Ervin’s U.S. teammate, Nathan Adrian of Bremerton, touched the wall third. Adrian won a gold medal on Sunday anchoring the 4×100 free relay and then won a bronze in the 100 freestyle in Wednesday.
Michael Phelps ties for silver in final individual race
RIO DE JANEIRO — Michael Phelps finished in a three-way tie for silver in the 100-meter butterfly at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Friday in the final individual race of his storied career.
Singapore’s Joseph Schooling finished in 50.39 seconds, an Olympic record, to outdistance Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, who touched the wall in 51.14 seconds.
“It’s what I had,” said Phelps, who reiterated his plans to retire following the Olympics. “It’s been a really long week and I knew it was going to be a tough one.”
Phelps, with four gold medals at these Games to give him 22 in his career, will compete in the 400-meter medley relay Saturday.