Pedro Adrega & Sarah Chiarello, FINA Communications Department

In the much awaited duel between Katie Ledecky (USA) and Camille Muffat (FRA), the North American comfortably won the 400m free in a time of 3:59.82, the first performance under four minutes since the beginning of the year. Until the 300m-mark, Ledecky, the surprising winner of the 800m free at the 2012 Olympics, swam under the WR pace, but the last 100m proved to be quite hard for her. It is her first medal at the FINA World Championships.  The silver went to Spain’s Melania Costa, also the second fastest of the heats, in 4:02.47 – first success at this level –, while Lauren Boyle from New Zealand took home the bronze in 4:03.89, getting the first podium presence for her country in women’s events in the history of the FINA World Championships.

Muffat, the Olympic champion was far from her best, and concluded in a modest seventh place, in 4:07.67.

World Record: Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 3:59.15 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Championships Record: Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 3:59.15 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Katie Ledecky (USA), 3:59.82 – July 28, 2013 in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Hannah Stockbauer (GER, 4:06.75); 2005 – Laure Manaudou (FRA, 4:06.44); 2007 – Laure Manaudou (FRA, 4:02.61); 2009 – Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 3:59.15); 2011 – Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 4:01.97)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Laure Manaudou (FRA, 2005 & 2007) and Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 2009 & 2011)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Camille Muffat (FRA, 4:01.45), 2. Allison Schmitt (USA, 4:01.77), 3. Rebecca Adlington (GBR, 4:03.01)


Gold medal winner: Katie Ledecky (USA)

"I really was not expecting to go that fast, I'm just really happy with this medal and I just wanted to do my best."

"It's easier to compete after having the Olympics as a first international meet. After the post-Olympic break, it's great to get back in an international competition and do well."

"Even though it looks easy, it's not relaxing and easy to get up to this result, it's a lot of training and work out, which makes the race a little easier but it's always a tough race. I like to get out and see what I can do as fast as I can."

"I've gone stronger this year and I see it's definitely helped my races."

Silver medal winner: Melania Costa Schmid (ESP)

"I saw in the morning heats that the race was going to be really fast but I knew I was strong enough."

"This medal is like gold for me because it has been so difficult and I never thought that this would happen. I knew that Katie Ledecky was going to start fast so I decided to follow her and try my best."

"My training hasn't stop getting better, and my results also, I knew that these Championships could be the moment for me to shine even though I know I am still not at my best now."

Bronze medal winner: Lauren Boyle (NZL)

"I'm very happy with my final swim tonight, usually it's hard for me to do a better time in the final so I m happy about today."