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Swimming at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

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Events:
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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 14, 2008
Date Finished: August 16, 2008

Gold: GBR Becky Adlington
Silver: ITA Alessia Filippi
Bronze: DEN Lotte Friis

Summary

American Kate Ziegler had won the world titles at both the 800 freestyle and non-Olympic 1500 freestyle at the two world championships held between the Athens and Beijing Olympics. At Beijing however she was eliminated in the heats after recording only the tenth fastest time.

Becky Adlington of Great Britain had set the world's leading time and had won the World Short Course Championship earlier in the year but there still doubts about her ability to perform at the highest championship following her disappointing results at the 2007 World Championships. These doubts were dispelled when she won the Olympic 400 freestyle title a few days earlier and she was installed as overwhelming favourite to win the 800 as well. Adlington did not disappoint and the race gradually turned into one between the Briton and Janet Evans' world record which had stood since 1989. The clock stopped at 8:14.10 which was two seconds under the 20 year old record. Adlington was not yet born when Evans had set the record.

Behind her Alessia Filippi was a distant second with Denmark's Lotte Friis winning a close battle for bronze. Friis turned the tables on Adlington to become world champion in 2009 but the Briton regained supremacy in 2011.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Becky Adlington 19 Great Britain GBR Gold WR
2 Alessia Filippi 21 Italy ITA Silver
3 Lotte Friis 20 Denmark DEN Bronze
4 Camelia Potec 26 Romania ROU
5 Li Xuanxu 14 China CHN
6 Kylie Palmer 18 Australia AUS
7 Yelena Sokolova 17 Russia RUS
8 Cassie Patten 21 Great Britain GBR
9 Wendy Trott 18 South Africa RSA
10 Kate Ziegler 20 United States USA
11 Katie Hoff 19 United States USA
12 Coralie Balmy 21 France FRA
13 Flavia Rigamonti 27 Switzerland SUI
14 Andreina Pinto 16 Venezuela VEN
15 You Meihong 15 China CHN
16 Erika Villaecija 24 Spain ESP
17 Melissa Gorman 22 Australia AUS
18 Susana Escobar 20 Mexico MEX
19 Sophie Huber 22 France FRA
20 Kristel Köbrich 22 Chile CHI
21 Maiko Fujino 25 Japan JPN
22 Jördis Steinegger 25 Austria AUT
23 Tanya Hunks 27 Canada CAN
24 Gabriella Fagundez 22 Sweden SWE
25 Jaana Ehmcke 21 Germany GER
26 Réka Nagy 21 Hungary HUN
27 Ai Shibata 26 Japan JPN
28 Elvira Efstathiou 19 Greece GRE
29 Stephanie Au 16 Hong Kong HKG
30 Lynette Lim 16 Singapore SIN
31 Cecilia Biagioli 23 Argentina ARG
32 Golda Marcus 25 El Salvador ESA
33 Eva Lehtonen 17 Finland FIN
34 Khoo Cai Lin 19 Malaysia MAS
35 Karolina Szczepaniak 15 Poland POL