Will Swim Star Katie Ledecky Get The 400 Free World Record Back?

Well, it’s not hers anymore, and I don’t think so. I don’t see that happening this year, though I’d love to be proven wrong.

10-time Olympic medalist Katie Ledecky lost her 400m free world record to Aussie swim star Ariarne Titmus. At the 2022 Australian Swimming Championships Titmus dropped a 3:56.40, shaving 0.06 seconds off Ledecky’s 2016 Olympic swim of 3:56.46.

We all hoped these titans would go head-to-head in Budapest, but, as SwimSwam reported back in April, Titmus pulled out of World Champs to focus on Commonwealth Games. There was still hope of a face-off at Duel in Pool, scheduled for August 19-21, but Titmus is unsure. Titmus told Reuters:

“Still deciding on Duel in the Pool… I know people are looking to see if I’ll be racing Katie, it’s always a very highly anticipated battle. But the battle with her comes with external pressure… Last year was huge for me, mentally too, a lot of pressure around my races. I didn’t really want to have to deal with that pressure again”

I don’t see a Ledecky 400m free world record this summer, but I’m not betting against her in 2023 or 2024. I remain bullish on Ledecky’s 400m free. I think the Titmus challenge could push Ledecky back into 3:56 range.

Interestingly, on the last SwimSwam Breakdown, editor-in-chief Braden Keith said he could see several swimmers in the 3:57-3:58 range by 2024. And international SwimSwam reporter, Loretta Race, said she sees Titmus shaving more time off her world record. What do you think?


My Ledecky predictions this year have been weak. My U.S. International Team Trials 800m free prediction was way off. However, 400m free prediction was spot-on. See my Katie Ledecky 2022 World Championships predictions:

400 free – 3.58.91 – for the gold
800 free – 8:07.88 – for the gold
1500 free – 15:28.61 – for the gold

But who cares what I think. It’s all about what you think. Drop your comments below.

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Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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