Olympics: Katie Ledecky gets the silver after coming up short in the women’s 400-meter freestyle

Tokyo, Japan - Katie Ledecky’s first Olympic medal in Tokyo is silver, as she finished in second place during her first medal race of the summer games, on Sunday.

Ariarne Titmus of Australia just barely won the gold medal over Katie Ledecky in the women s 400m freestyle on Sunday
Ariarne Titmus of Australia just barely won the gold medal over Katie Ledecky in the women s 400m freestyle on Sunday  © IMAGO / Agencia EFE

Ledecky (24) was bested by fractions of a second by Australian rival Ariarne Titmus, who many viewed as the most likely competitor to keep Ledecky off of the top of the medal podium.

She was swimming at record pace, nearly setting a personal record at 3 minutes and 57.36 seconds. Her finishing time was second only to the world and Olympic record times she set back at the Rio games in 2016.

However, Titmus was slightly faster in this race, touching the wall first at 3 minutes, 56.69 seconds.

Caitlin Clark officially joins WNBA as first pick in 2024 Draft!
Athletes Caitlin Clark officially joins WNBA as first pick in 2024 Draft!

This loss might be extra disappointing for Ledecky, considering Titmus was as much as a full body length behind the lead midway through the race. At that point it definitely seemed that Ledecky had the goal well within her reach. But Titmus powered through in the final lap to pull off the comeback win for gold.

"She definitely swam a really smart race. She was really controlled up front," Ledecky said of Titmus.

"I felt smooth and strong. I looked up at 300m, and she was right there, so I knew it would be a battle to the end. I didn't feel like I died or really fell off. She just had a faster final 50 or 75m and got her hand to the wall first."

With this second-place finish, Ledecky missed out on an individual gold medal for the first time in her Olympic career.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Insidefoto

More on Olympics: