Katie Ledecky won her heat in the 1500m freestyle, which is making its Olympic debut in Tokyo

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Katie Ledecky
Katie Ledecky
| Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty

Katie Ledecky is making Olympic history.

The 24-year-old swimmer won her heat in the women's 1500m freestyle at the Tokyo Summer Games on Monday — and set an Olympic record in the process. This year marks the Olympic debut of the event, which has been part of the world championship competition since 2001. 

The five-time gold medalist completed the race in 15:35.35. However, Ledecky has the capability of bringing in a much faster time as she currently holds the world record for the event: 15:20.48.

Her teammate Erica Sullivan also advanced to the finals with a time of 15:46.67.

The heat took place shortly after Ledecky competed in the women's 400m freestyle final — one of three events in which she is both the world record holder and the defending Olympic gold medalist.

However, in a shocking end to the race, she finished in second place behind Australian Ariarne Titmus, missing out on the gold by just 0.67 seconds.

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Monday's silver was Ledecky's first individual silver medal at an Olympic Games.

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 14: Katie Ledecky of the United States competes in a preliminary heat for the Women’s 400m freestyle during Day Two of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 14, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska
Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty

Although she didn't end up winning, Ledecky told reporters that she still "delivered" by bringing home a medal.

"I couldn't do much better than that," she said, adding that she "can't be too disappointed" by the results.

"It was my second best swim ever (in 400m freestyle). I felt like I fought tooth and nail and that's all you can ask for," she continued. "Of course you always want to hear your national anthem, but I'm proud of how I swam and how I got to that point. It's not an easy journey, it's never an easy journey to the podium, and so it's not something I take for granted, being up there."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.