Ledecky terminated in the 400-meter freestyle
TOKYO — The Terminator knocked off Katie Ledecky at the Tokyo Olympics.
Australia’s Ariarne Titmus chased down Ledecky to win one of the most anticipated races of the Summer Games, capturing the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle with the second-fastest time in history Monday.
Titmus, who trailed by nearly a full body-length at the halfway mark of the eight-lap race, turned on the speed to touch in 3 minutes, 56.69 seconds.
Ledecky was the defending Olympic champion and world-record holder. She settled for the silver this time in 3:57.36 — the fourth-fastest time ever recorded.
No one else was even close. The bronze went to China’s Li Bingjie in 4:01.08.
Ledecky’s runner-up finish was another disappointment for the Americans after a dynamic start to the swimming competition.
The powerhouse team won six of 12 medals on Sunday but was shut out of the medals in the first two finals Monday. Torri Huske and Michael Andrew just missed out with fourth-place finishes, then it was Ledecky settling for the second spot on the podium — a very unfamiliar place for perhaps the greatest women’s freestyle swimmer in history.
Ledecky lost an individual Olympic final for the first time after winning the 800 free at the 2012 London Games, then capturing three more golds in the 200, 400 and 800 free at Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
Ledecky will get another crack at Titmus in the 200 free, and the American is heavily favored to repeat in the 800 and add another gold in the 1,500 — a new event for the women at these games.
Perhaps the surest bet at the pool, Britain’s Adam Peaty repeated as Olympic champion in the men’s 100 breaststroke.
Peaty was the world-record holder and the first man to break both 58 and 57 seconds in his signature event. He posted the fifth-fastest time in history (57.37) to blow away the field.
Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands claimed the silver in 58.00, while the bronze went to Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi in 58.33. Andrew was next in 58.84.