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Swimming at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Women's 400 metres Individual Medley

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 9, 2008
Date Finished: August 10, 2008

Gold: AUS Steph Rice
Silver: ZIM Kirsty Coventry
Bronze: USA Katie Hoff

Summary

The story of the shorter of the two medley events should have been a showdown between two women who had exchanged the world record between over the early part of 2008. The current holder, America's Katie Hoff, had also won the last two editions of the World Championships and this race was planned to yield her first of a possible six golds from these Games. Her main rival appeared to be Commonwealth Games champion, Steph Rice of Australia, whose world record at the Australian Olympic trials had lasted just a few months before Hoff bettered it at her own national trials. Beijing was not kind to Hoff and she failed to swim to her usual standard although even an under par performance was still good enough for a place on the podium.

The final itself turned instead into a battle between Rice and the 2004 bronze medal winner, Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe. Swimming in lane 1 after only just qualifying for the final, Coventry led at the halfway stage but a strong breaststroke leg saw Rice edging into a lead that she never gave up despite a strong finish from the Zimbawean. For her efforts at the Beijing Olympics Rice was named FINA's "World Swimmer of the Year".

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Steph Rice 20 Australia AUS Gold WR
2 Kirsty Coventry 24 Zimbabwe ZIM Silver
3 Katie Hoff 19 United States USA Bronze
4 Elizabeth Beisel 15 United States USA
5 Alessia Filippi 21 Italy ITA
6 Hannah Miley 18 Great Britain GBR
7 Yana Martynova 20 Russia RUS
8 Li Xuanxu 14 China CHN
9 Kasia Baranowska 20 Poland POL
10 Katheryn Meaklim 19 South Africa RSA
11 Maiko Fujino 25 Japan JPN
12 Katinka Hosszú 19 Hungary HUN
13 Zsu Jakabos 19 Hungary HUN
14 Mireia Belmonte 17 Spain ESP
15 Keri-Anne Payne 20 Great Britain GBR
16 Anja Klinar 20 Slovenia SLO
17 Joanna Maranhão 21 Brazil BRA
18 Sara Nordenstam 25 Norway NOR
19 Camille Muffat 18 France FRA
20 Tanya Hunks 27 Canada CAN
21 Jessica Pengelly 17 South Africa RSA
22 Samantha Hamill 17 Australia AUS
23 Joanne Andraca 20 France FRA
24 Helen Norfolk 26 New Zealand NZL
25 Liu Jing 18 China CHN
26 Jördis Steinegger 25 Austria AUT
27 Saori Haruguchi 21 Japan JPN
28 Nam Yu-Seon 23 South Korea KOR
29 Alexa Komarnycky 18 Canada CAN
30 Susana Escobar 20 Mexico MEX
31 Svetlana Karpeyeva 22 Russia RUS
32 Quah Ting Wen 15 Singapore SIN
33 Katharina Schiller 24 Germany GER
34 Lew Yih Wey 17 Malaysia MAS
35 Anna-Liisa Põld 17 Estonia EST
36 Georgina Bardach 24 Argentina ARG
37 Nimitta Thaveesupsoonthorn 18 Thailand THA