200-400-800 Freestyle Triplers

Tomorrow night, Katie Ledecky will certainly qualify to swim the 800 freestyle at the Olympics, after having already qualified in the 200 and 400 freestyle at the USA Swimming Olympic Trials. She will compete in all three of the longer freestyle events available to women at the Olympics, and will be favored in all three, having won all of them at the 2015 World Championships. This has been done before. Ledecky is hoping to match the 1968 feat of Debbie Meyer (USA), who won all three gold medals.

  • 68 women have swum the 200/400/800 freestyles at one Olympic Games. Isabelle Arnoud (BEL) did it twice – 1988 and 1992, while Camille Potec (ROU) did it three times – 2004, 2008, 2012.
  • 4 American women have previously swum the 200/400/800 trifecta at one Olympics – Debbie Meyer (1968), Keena Rothhammer (1972), Shirley Babashoff (1976), and Katie Hoff (2008)
  • 5 women have won medals in all 3 events at one Olympics – Debbie Meyer (USA-1968), Shane Gould (AUS-1972), Shirley Babashoff (USA-1976), Ines Diers (GDR-1980), and Dagmar Hase (GER-1996). And only those 5 women have won medals in all three events, even counting multiple Olympics.
  • Debbie Meyer (USA) won gold medals in all 3 events in 1968. Only Shane Gould (AUS) won 2 gold medals in the three longer freestyles, winning the 200 and 400 free and taking silver in the 800 behind Keena Rothhammer (USA). Ines Diers won gold in the 400 in 1980 and silvers in the other two freestyles. Shirley Babashoff (USA) famously won silvers in all three events in 1976, trailing East German swimmers in each event, who were later proven to have been heavily doped as part of the East German program.

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