Katie Ledecky, 18-Year-Old U.S. Swimming Sensation, Accidentally Breaks World Record

"I was barely even focusing on this morning's swim."

U.S. swimming sensation Katie Ledecky is so good she just casually broke a world record during a race in which her coach told her to take it easy. 

Ledecky broke the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle record Monday morning at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia. It was a record she had previously broken on three separate occasions. She clocked in at 15 minutes and 27.71 seconds, besting her previous record by roughly two-thirds of a second.

That would be impressive enough, but there’s more: her coach, Bruce Gemmell, told her to take the first three-fifths of the race easy, so she could save herself for the finals on Tuesday. In essence, she broke a world record without trying to. Afterward, she reportedly shrugged her shoulders when she made eye contact with her coach. 

"I'm in quite a bit of shock right now,'' Ledecky said, according to the AP. ''I was barely even focusing on this morning's swim. I was so relaxed."

Australia's Jessica Ashwood came in second place, finishing 28.81 seconds behind Ledecky, who is also the world record holder of the women’s 400 and 800 freestyle.  

"It’s probably one of the coolest world records I’ve broken," she said to The Washington Post. "Each one is really unique, but just sort of how relaxed I was and how calm. I think breaking that record is just testament to the work I’ve put in and the shape I’m in right now.” 

TFW you accidentally set a world record when you aren't trying to. (Credit: AP)

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