In 1968, a teenager in North Dakota watched transfixed as Debbie Meyer won the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle races at the Mexico City Olympics. The next time the teenager, already a competitive swimmer, got in the pool, she cut through the water repeating to herself, “I am Debbie Meyer.”
That teenager would grow up to become the mother of Katie Ledecky, who on Friday night became the first Olympian since Meyer to complete the 200, 400 and 800 trifecta. Ledecky lowered her seven-month-old world record in the 800 freestyle by two seconds with a time of 8 minutes 4.79 seconds. Her 400 split of 4:01.98 would have won the bronze in the 400 final last Sunday.
She finished 11.38 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Jazz Carlin of Britain, who clocked an 8:16.17. That was two-tenths of a second better than the bronze medalist, Boglarka Kapas of Hungary. The slim margin separating second and third threw into sharp relief the dominance of Ledecky, who owns the 13 fastest performances in history.
Four years ago, a 15-year-old Ledecky won the 800 freestyle in 8:14.63. She and Hungary’s Krisztina Egerszegi are the only swimmers to win gold medals in consecutive Olympics as teenagers. Ledecky started crying as she talked about completing this Olympics cycle by hitting all her goal times.
Rio 2016 Medal Standings
Rio Olympics 2016: While you were sleeping - day seven
New Zealand picked up their fifth silver medal of the Rio Olympics overnight as our Kiwi rowers had a strong day on the water.
The women's pair of Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown brought home the silver in a race they were coming last in after the first 250 metres.
Their sprint home into second place capped a great morning for the rowers as Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg also cruised into the finals of the men's and women's single sculls.
The only disappointment came in form of a fourth place finish from women's lightweight double scullers Julia Edward and Sophie MacKenzie in their race final.
Elsewhere, the women's Black Sticks pulled off a great result on the hockey turf by battling back to secure a 1-1 draw with the world number one Netherlands side.
They now sit second in their group with one match remaining, against China tomorrow morning.
At the golf, Danny Lee shot up the leaderboard after a blistering six-under 65 in the second round of the Rio Olympics golf tournament. Lee produced the best round of the day to move from one-over at the start of the day to finish at five-under at the midway point, five shots off the leader Marcus Fraser of Australia. Ryan Fox shot a two-over 73 to slip down the leaderboard to two-over in a tie for 33rd. New Zealand's sole Kiwi weightlifter was in action this morning. Richie Patterson recorded a 149kg snatch and 181kg clean and jerk for a total score of 330kgs in the men's 85kg division.
Sailing: Men's 470 - Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox, Race 5 4.05am, Race 6, 5.30am - postponed Sailing: Women's 49er FX - Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech, Race 1, 4.05am, Race 2 5.05am, Race 3 6.05am. - postponed Sailing: Men's 49er - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won the first two races before sailing postponed. Sailing: Laser men's race 7 and race 8 - Sam Meech, 4.15am and 5.40am - postponed Sailing: Women's 470 - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, sit sixth overall, only one race today. Athletics: Men's 20km walk, Quentin Rew - out of competititon due to three penalties. Diving: Women's 3m springboard preliminary, Elizabeth Cui, 24th in preliminary. Cycling: Track - Women's team sprint, ninth in qualifying. Cycling: Track - Men's sprint qualifying 10th in qualifying. Cycling: Track - Men's 4000m team pursuit, finished fourth, losing to Denmark in bronze race. Hockey: Men's pool match - Black Sticks beat Belgium 3-1. Athletics: Women's 1500m round 1 - Nikki Hamblin, failed to advance to semi-final. Athletics: Women's shot put final - Valerie Adams, from 1pm Golf: Men's individual stroke play, Danny Lee and Ryan Fox, 10pm