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Swimming at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Women's 50 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 15, 2008
Date Finished: August 17, 2008

Gold: GER Britta Steffen
Silver: USA Dara Torres
Bronze: AUS Cate Campbell

Summary

The shortest race on the women's schedule is usually the most difficult to predict. The favourite appeared to be Libby Trickett of Australia who had won the 2007 World Championship and set the world record at the Australian trials but any of a dozen women could reasonably expect to challenge for the podium.

The 100 metre freestyle, held earlier in the week, changed the complexion of the race and the woman who won that race, Germany's Britta Steffen was now considered the woman to beat. The eight women who reached the final were an eclectic mix which included Cate Campbell] of Australia, a 16 year old making her Olympic debut, Dutch veteran [Marleen Veldhuis and super-veteran Dara Torres of the USA. 41 year old Dara Torres, the oldest female swimmer ever to compete at the Olympics, was making her second comeback and competing in her 5th Olympics, 24 years after his debut. For much of the race it looked like the impossible was about to happen as Torres led the field but a mistimed finish cost the American dearly and Steffan added the 50 metre Olympic title to the 100 she had won previously. The German went on win the same races at the 2009 World Championships. Torres returned to retirement but in 2010 she announced she would attempt to win a place in the US team for the 2012 Olympics.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Britta Steffen 24 Germany GER Gold OR
2 Dara Torres 41 United States USA Silver
3 Cate Campbell 16 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Libby Lenton-Trickett 23 Australia AUS
5 Marleen Veldhuis 29 Netherlands NED
6 Kara Lynn Joyce 22 United States USA
7 Hinkelien Schreuder 24 Netherlands NED
8 Aleksandra Gerasimenya 22 Belarus BLR
9 Zhu Yingwen 26 China CHN
10 Fran Halsall 18 Great Britain GBR
11 Jeanette Ottesen Gray 20 Denmark DEN
12 Malia Metella 26 France FRA
13 Li Zhesi 14 China CHN
14 Therèse Alshammar 30 Sweden SWE
15 Arlene Semeco 24 Venezuela VEN
16 Hanna-Maria Seppälä 23 Finland FIN
17 Agata Korc 22 Poland POL
18 Céline Couderc 25 France FRA
19 Anya Gostomelsky 27 Israel ISR
20 Svetlana Khokhlova 23 Belarus BLR
21 Triin Aljand 23 Estonia EST
22T Anna-Karin Kammerling 27 Sweden SWE
22T Flávia Delaroli 24 Brazil BRA
24 Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace 18 Bahamas BAH
25 Petra Dallmann 29 Germany GER
26 Lize-Mari Retief 21 South Africa RSA
27 Martina Moravcová 32 Slovakia SVK
28 Anastasiya Aksenova 18 Russia RUS
29 Sandra Kazíková 32 Czech Republic CZE
30 Victoria Poon 23 Canada CAN
31 Jang Hui-Jin 21 South Korea KOR
32 Oksana Serikova 23 Ukraine UKR
33 Martha Matsa 21 Greece GRE
34 Cristina Chiuso 34 Italy ITA
35 Vanessa García 24 Puerto Rico PUR
36 Ragnheiður Ragnarsdóttir 23 Iceland ISL
37 Natasha Moodie 17 Jamaica JAM
38 Carolina Colorado 20 Colombia COL
39T Rugilė Mileišytė 20 Lithuania LTU
39T Sharntelle McLean 24 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
41 Éva Dobár 15 Hungary HUN
42 Anna-Liza Mopio-Jane 21 Papua New Guinea PNG
43 Nina Sovinek 23 Slovenia SLO
44T Yamilé Bahamonde 21 Ecuador ECU
44T Elaine Chan 20 Hong Kong HKG
46 Marina Mulyayeva 27 Kazakhstan KAZ
47 Christel Simms 17 Philippines PHI
48 Leung Chii Lin 17 Malaysia MAS
49 Monika Babok 16 Croatia CRO
50 Veronica Vdovicenco 22 Moldova MDA
51 Sharon Fajardo 18 Honduras HON
52 Ngozi Monu 27 Nigeria NGR
53 Ellen Hight 27 Zambia ZAM
54 Chinyere Pigot 15 Suriname SUR
55 Dalia Torres 18 Nicaragua NCA
56 Razan Taha 16 Jordan JOR
57 Marianela Quesada 20 Costa Rica CRC
58T Ximene Gomes 18 Mozambique MOZ
58T Rovena Marku 21 Albania ALB
60 Tojohanitra Andriamanjatoarimanana 17 Madagascar MAD
61 Senele Dlamini 16 Swaziland SWZ
62 Virginia Farmer 32 American Samoa ASA
63 Diane Etiennette 20 Mauritius MRI
64 Katerine Moreno 34 Bolivia BOL
65 Ana Romero 20 Angola ANG
66 Olivia Nakitanda 23 Uganda UGA
67 Dashtserengiin Saintsetseg 17 Mongolia MGL
68 Mariya Bugakova 23 Uzbekistan UZB
69 Kiran Khan 18 Pakistan PAK
70 Samantha Paxinos 20 Botswana BOT
71 Amber Yobech 17 Palau PLW
72 Rouya Hussain 17 Maldives MDV
73 Doli Akhtar 22 Bangladesh BAN
74 Sameera Al-Bitar 18 Bahrain BRN
75 Julianne Kirchner 16 Marshall Islands MHL
76 Debra Daniel 17 Federated States of Micronesia FSM
77 Magdalena Moshi 17 Tanzania TAN
78 Hemthon Vitiny 15 Cambodia CAM
79 Zakia Nassar 21 Palestine PLE
80 Yekaterina Izmaylova 31 Tajikistan TJK
81 Karishma Karki 15 Nepal NEP
82 Zahra Pinto 14 Malawi MAW
83 Antoinette Guedia 12 Cameroon CMR
84 Vilayphone Vongphachanh 19 Laos LAO
85 Elisabeth Nikiema 26 Burkina Faso BUR
86 Elsie Uwamahoro 19 Burundi BDI
87 Gloria Koussihouede 21 Benin BEN
88 Pamela Girimbabazi Rugabira 24 Rwanda RWA
89 Djene Barry 26 Guinea GUI
90 Mariama Souley Bana 21 Niger NIG