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Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

Katie Ledecky took home the gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming race Tuesday evening, becoming the first female swimmer to win the newly added division. Team USA's Erica Sullivan won silver.

Driving the news: The long-distance 1,500m race has traditionally only been available to men at the Olympics, and the Tokyo Games mark the first time that it has been open to women.

  • It's inclusion is part of an effort to make the Games more gender-equal "by incorporating new events for women and more mixed-gender teams in various sports," notes ABC News.

The big picture: Ledecky is the women's 1500m world record holder and held the 11 fastest times ever going into the event at the Olympics.

  • She dominated the 1500m in the event's heats, beating the silver medalist by over six seconds.
  • Since it was the first time the race had taken place at the Olympics, her time automatically set an Olympic record, per the Washington Post.

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