Katie Ledecky sets world record in 1500-meter freestyle

Katie Ledecky broke the record by six seconds. Photo: Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Katie Ledecky has crushed the world record in the 1,500 freestyle for her second gold medal at the world swimming championships.

The 16-year-old Bethesda native barely missed the world record in the 400 freestyle, but there was no doubt it would fall in the 1,500. Ledecky and defending world champion Lotte Friis went at it stroke for stroke much of the race, the Danish swimmer slightly ahead.

But Ledecky edged out front at the 1,300 mark and began to pull away, looking as strong at the end as she did at the beginning. Her time of 15 minutes, 36.53 seconds beat the previous mark by more than 6 seconds - Kate Ziegler's 15:42.54 in 2007.

Friis also went under the old record, 15:38.88, but it was only good enough for silver.

Ledecky studies and swims at the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Montgomery County. She won gold for the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 800-meter freestyle.