LONDON -- American 15-year-old Katie Ledecky won the 800-meter freestyle at the London Olympics on Friday.

The youngest member of the U.S. swim team narrowly missed a world record in the grueling race, falling off pace on the last lap and finishing in 8 minutes, 14.63 seconds.

Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain touched in 8:18.76 to take the silver medal and defending champion Rebecca Adlington of host Britain finished in 8:20.32 for bronze.

Adlington set the world record of 8:14.10 at the 2008 Beijing Games.

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  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps reacts to his gold medal win in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Missy Franklin smiles after winning the gold in the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Cate Campbell

    Australia's Cate Campbell stretches before a women's 50-meter freestyle swimming heat at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Connor Jaeger

    United States' Connor Jaeger competes in a 1500-meter freestyle swimming heat at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Cullen Jones

    United States' Cullen Jones reaches the wall ahead of Germany's Marco di Carli, right, and Japan's Takuro Fujii in the men's 4 x 100-meter medley relay at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Swimming

    Swimmers take the start of the men's 4 x 100-meter relay heats during the swimming event at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in London.

  • Rebecca Adlington

    British athletes wear masks of Britain's Rebecca Adlington as they wait for the start of the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Missy Franklin, left, and compatriot Elizabeth Beisel celebrate after their first and third place finishes in the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps take the start in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps, right, celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final, as South Africa's Chad le Clos stands beside him at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Missy Franklin starts in the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Franklin won a gold medal in the event.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Missy Franklin reacts to her gold medal win in the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Rebecca Adlington

    Britain's Rebecca Adlington competes in the women's 800-meter freestyle swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps, right, and South Africa's Chad le Clos react to their scores in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Phelps won a gold medal in the event, le Clos won a silver medal.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps, top, celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final, with United States' Tyler McGill beside him at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps, left, leads South Africa's Chad le Clos during the men's 100-meter butterfly final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning gold in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning gold in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Missy Franklin, left, and teammate Elizabeth Beisel celebrate their first and third place wins in the women's 200-meter backstroke finalat the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Michael Phelps touches the wall as South Africa's Chad le Clos closes in for second place during the men's 100-meter butterfly final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Missy Franklin gestures after receiving the gold medal for the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Florent Manadou

    France's Florent Manadou celebrates after finishing first in the men's 50-meter freestyle swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Anastasia Zueva

    From left, Russia's Anastasia Zueva, silver, United States' Missy Franklin, gold, United States' Elizabeth Beisel, bronze, pose with their medals on the podium after theue win in the women's 200-meter backstroke at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Florent Manadou

    France's Florent Manadou reacts to his gold medal win in the men's 50-meter freestyle swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Missy Franklin

    United States' Missy Franklin holds her gold medal in the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps puts on his gold medal in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Katie Ledecky

    United States' Katie Ledecky swims out of the pool after winning the women's 200-meter backstroke final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps swims out of the pool after winning gold in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    South Africa's silver medalist Chad le Clos, left, United States' gold medalist Michael Phelps, center, and Russia's silver medalist Evegnu Korotyshkin pose on the podium after their wins the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Katie Ledecky

    United States' Katie Ledecky competes in the women's 800-meter freestyle swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps puts on his gold medal after his win in the 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    Russia's silver medalist Evegnu Korotyshkin, left, United States' gold medalist Michael Phelps, center,and South Africa's silver medalist Chad le Clos, right, pose at the podium following their wins in the men's 100-meter butterfly at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    South Africa's Chad le Clos, top, and United States' Michael Phelps take the start in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps concentrates before the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Phelps won the gold.

  • Michael Phelps

    United States' Michael Phelps is seen on a large display as he stands for the U.S. national anthem after he was presented with a gold medal in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.