Ledecky, who holds the world record in the 1500m, came into this event a huge favorite. It is her sixth Olympic gold medal in her career, and she now has eight total Olympic medals all time, having won silver in the 400-meter freestyle final earlier in these Games.
This is the first time the women’s 1500m is an Olympic event. Ledecky set the Olympic record in the event during the heat phase of the Games.
American Erica Sullivan won the silver medal, while Sarah Kohler of Germany took bronze.
Earlier in the day, Ledecky failed to medal in the 200-meter freestyle final, finishing fifth.
Gold went to Ariarne Titmus of Australia with a time of 1:53:50, an Olympic record. Titmus had bested Ledecky for gold earlier in these Olympics when she won the 400-meter freestyle final, with Ledecky having finished with the silver.
Silver in the 200-meter went to Siobhan Haughey — the first medal in swimming at the Olympic Games for Hong Kong. Penny Oleksiak of Canada earned the bronze medal.