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Katie Ledecky entered her Tokyo Olympics today with pure gold. She won the 800-meter freestyle for the 3rd Olympics straight and also made background. Still, as NPR’s Tom Goldman reports from Tokyo, there’s a sense the 24-year-old really did not quite meet unreasonable expectations that were set for her.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Katie Ledecky led beginning to end up in the 800, and also though her winning time was nowhere near her world document at the 2016 Games, it was still an enjoyable 16 laps of retribution. A minimum of, that’s how the outdoors defined her triumph over silver champion Ariarne Titmus of Australia. Titmus beat Ledecky in the 200- and 400-freestyle races in Tokyo, sustaining swimming’s new rivalry that Ledecky states is extremely friendly.


KATIE LEDECKY: You recognize, there’s absolutely nothing between us. We’re just going to keep progressing. As well as if we occur to obtain side-by-side, we’re going to set up actually excellent races as well as be tough competitors when we dive right into the water.

GOLDMAN: Titmus, that’s just 20, acknowledged. There’s mutual respect, no bad blood, although those two wins against Ledecky were pleasant.


ARIARNE TITMUS: I indicate, to have her on the field, the wonderful swimmer she is – that probably makes it a little much more rewarding.

GOLDMAN: Ledecky finishes her Tokyo run a great deal much more completely satisfied. With the 800-freestyle win, she has even more private Olympic medals than any type of women swimmer in history, six of them, stretching back to the 2012 London Games.


LEDECKY: You know, I’m actually pleased. I guess that’s simply the most effective method to place it. It’s, you recognize, tough simply to make an Olympics. It’s difficult to win a medal. So to win even one gold at the previous three Olympics has actually been amazing.

GOLDMAN: However she’s needed to fight an assumption that her Tokyo efficiencies have been much less than incredible. Thanks to – or perhaps cursed by – her supremacy in 2016. She was among those Olympians going into Tokyo with crucial assumptions. Was Caeleb Dressel, an additional U.S. swimming celebrity. He claims the prognosticators seem to neglect what all professional athletes went through to obtain right here after a year’s hold-up.


CAELEB DRESSEL: We could not train for a big portion. And afterwards we have a lot more months than ever before to build a base up, hard to obtain everything lined up suitably ’cause nobody knew what to do. No person had the book that says, oh, this is what you do when there’s a global pandemic to prepare yourself for the Olympics.

GOLDMAN: Which makes Dressel’s 3 golds, including his globe record in the 100-meter butterfly Saturday, remarkable, to make use of Ledecky’s word. Dressel’s refrained from doing racing in Tokyo. Ledecky is however claims she’ll be back for the next Olympics in 2024 to fight her competitor as well as the ever-present assumptions. Tom Goldman, NPR Information, Tokyo. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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