Australia’s Emma McKeon led the field on the first 100, turning under world record pace. But she faded on the third 50, allowing Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden and Katie Ledecky of the United States to make their moves. As the two battled for the lead, Ledecky managed to power ahead. Sjostrom didn’t let her get away without a fight; she challenged the American coming down the final length, but it was ultimately Ledecky who touched for the win in 1:53.73, followed by Sjostrom in 1:54.08 and McKeon in 1:54.92.
See the results, along with the complete metrics of the women's 200m freestyle here.
TAKEAWAYS FOR YOUR TRAINING
Ledecky has proven her versatility across all of the freestyle events. The 200 was predicted to be her toughest win, but once again she proved the sceptics wrong. She expertly paced her race, holding back a little bit on the first half without allowing McKeon to get out of range, and then striking on the second 100 to gradually advance against the rest of the field. Down the final stretch she kicked her legs into high gear to fend off the challenge from Sjostrom and take the gold.
Check out our analysis of another race from the 2016 Rio Olympics: Women's 200 Back