Sports OLYMPICS

The 2016 Rio Olympics have come to a close with Americans earning 121 medals -- 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze -- their biggest haul ever, not counting the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games or the 1904 St. Louis Games, when hardly anyone else showed up.

Katie Ledecky breaks world record in 800 freestyle to win fourth gold

Katie Ledecky is all smiles after crushing the competition in winning the 800-meter freestyle final on Friday. (Esteban Biba / EPA)
Katie Ledecky is all smiles after crushing the competition in winning the 800-meter freestyle final on Friday. (Esteban Biba / EPA)

Katie Ledecky completed a gold-plated Olympics on Friday by breaking her world record in the 800-meter freestyle.

The fourth gold medal of these Games for the 19-year-old from the Washington area wasn’t a surprise -- she he now holds the 13 fastest times ever in the event.

She finished in 8 minutes 4.79 seconds, about 11 seconds ahead of second-place Jazz Carlin of Britain. The previous record was 8:06.68.

"I had a lot of fun tonight," Ledecky said. "I just wanted to push myself and see what I could do."

The victory gave Ledecky another milestone. She is the first woman to sweep the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle races at the same Olympics since U.S. swimmer Debbie Meyer did so at Mexico City in 1968.

Ledecky, the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic swimming team, also won gold in the 800-meter freestyle  relay and silver in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

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