American Swimmer Breaks Record in Qualification for Olympics as Katie Ledecky Secures Team USA Spot

Katie Ledecky secured her spot on Team USA for her third Olympics, while 18-year-old Torri Huske broke an American record to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics

Katie Ledecky, Torri Huske
Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty (2)

Katie Ledecky has made it clear why she's the most decorated woman in swimming history as she secures her spot for her third Olympic Games.

The 24-year-old swimmer will compete at the Tokyo Olympics after winning the 400m freestyle on Monday at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha. Following the race, Ledecky admitted to NBC Sports that "it wasn't the best-feeling 400" for her, clocking in at 4:01.27, just five seconds over the world record she set at the Rio Olympics — a record she's held and lowered twice since 2014.

"I thought it was a lot faster than that, so I was a little surprised by the time," she told the outlet. "It's pretty tough for the first race here. I always remember five years ago, it was not a fun race. It's just good to check the box and hopefully have some good swims the rest of the week."

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
Tom Pennington/Getty

Ledecky has earned five Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship titles ahead of her participation in the upcoming Games. She will be joined at the Tokyo Olympics by Torri Huske, who locked in her spot on Team USA thanks to her performance in the women's 100m butterfly.

During the trials, the 18-year-old from Arlington, Virginia, broke her own American record, which she set during Sunday's semifinals, in the women's 100m butterfly with a 55.66-second race — the fastest in the world this year. "It's really surreal," Huske said. "I can't believe it's happening."

Ledecky watched the moment Huske competed and said she was inspired by the younger athletes who will be joining her in Tokyo. "It's so exciting to see some young swimmers coming up," Ledecky told ESPN. "I liked seeing Torri's ear-to-ear grin. It gave me chills in the warm-up pool."

The U.S. Olympic swimming trials will continue throughout the week.

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit Watch the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer on NBC.

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