American swimmer Katie Ledecky has officially surpassed Michael Phelps with her excellence in the pool. Ledecky won her 16th world title, breaking a tie with Phelps, with a victory in the 800-meter freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan.
On Tuesday, Ledecky won the 1500-meter freestyle event by a whopping 17.04 seconds, which tied her with Phelps. On Saturday, Ledecky also won the 800-meter freestyle by a relatively comfortable margin of 4.5 seconds.
After earning her 16th world championship, Ledecky told Olympics.com that she was just thrilled to be in the same conversation as a swimming legend like Phelps.
"I know Michael, I know how many events he swam at meets like this. It's an honor to even be in that same sentence," Ledecky said. "I'm going to keep going and hopefully win more medals for Team USA."
While she piles up world championship gold medals, Ledecky is getting ready to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Since her first Olympics appearance in 2012, Ledecky has become a dominant force in the pool for the United States.
Ledecky won her first Olympic gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle in 2012. Four years later, Ledecky captured four more gold medals and a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Ledecky added two more gold medals and a pair of silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.