"That was probably one of my most painful races," Ledecky said. "But it paid off in the end. I figured pretty early on in the race that I was on world-record pace. I wasn't sure about the middle if I fell off too much, because it did really hurt. I was pretty sure I had it, but breaking it by six seconds was pretty surprising."
Although she said it was "kind of cool" to be the first to set a world record at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre's new outdoor pool, she said she also loved playing a role in a winning 4x200 freestyle relay for the Americans.