For the first time, there will be a women’s 1,500-meter freestyle Olympic champion. The final starts at 10:54 p.m. Eastern. Katie Ledecky of the U.S. is the heavy favorite, having raced to the fastest qualifying time. Astonishingly, she is also the solo owner of the top ten times in the women’s event in history.
What is the history of the event?
It has been a men’s event at the Olympics since 1904. Women have been competing in it at the world championships since 2001, but they’re swimming in it for the first time in the Summer Games in Tokyo.
How many laps is the 1,500 meters?
Olympic-size pools are 50 meters in length, so it takes 30 laps to reach 1,500 meters, which is 0.93 miles. It is the longest Olympic swimming event that’s not in open water.
If you’re swimming in your local pool, which is usually 25 yards long, that’s 66 laps.
How long does that take for the world’s fastest women?
Katie Ledecky swam her 1,500-meter qualifying time in 15 minutes, 35.35 seconds. Her world record, set in 2018, is 15:20.48.
How do the swimmers keep track of all those laps?
Low-power electronic monitors display the remaining lap count in the race just before the turn wall.
Why do some of the swimmers slap themselves before racing?
It’s a way for them to warm up their muscles by increasing blood flow to them right before their race.
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