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Swimming at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 2012 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: August 2, 2012
Date Finished: August 3, 2012

Gold: USA Katie Ledecky
Silver: ESP Mireia Belmonte
Bronze: GBR Becky Adlington

Summary

Britain's Becky Adlington was the defending champion and the 2011 World Champion, and the entire British crowd was there to root her home again. Her biggest challenger was expected to be Denmark's Lotte Friis, runner-up at the 2011 Worlds in this event and World Champion in the non-Olympic 1,500. But at the US Olympic Trials in June a young American, 15-year-old Katie Ledecky had served notice she should be watched. And the other swimmers did watch her, from behind for the entire final. Ledecky went out ahead of world record pace for 200 metres, with Adlington and Friis trying to hang on. By 600 metres she had moved two bodylengths in front and had only to hold on for the gold medal. Ledecky won in 8:14.63, the second fastest time ever, just off Adlington's world record of 8:14.10 from the Beijing Olympics, but Ledecky's was done in a textile suit. Adlington suffered in the final laps and dropped back to bronze, with the silver taken by Spain's Mireia Belmonte. Friis also faded near the end and placed fifth.

Ledecky became the youngest ever champion in this event at 15 years, 139 days, bettering the previous youngest, who was 1976 East German champion Petra Thümer, then 15-177. It also made her the seventh youngest individual swimming gold medalist in any Olympic event, and sixth youngest woman.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Katie Ledecky 15 United States USA Gold
2 Mireia Belmonte 21 Spain ESP Silver
3 Becky Adlington 23 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Lauren Boyle 24 New Zealand NZL
5 Lotte Friis 24 Denmark DEN
6 Boglárka Kapás 19 Hungary HUN
7 Coralie Balmy 25 France FRA
8 Andreina Pinto 20 Venezuela VEN
9 Shao Yiwen 17 China CHN
10 Erika Villaecija 28 Spain ESP
11 Alexa Komarnycky 22 Canada CAN
12 Wendy Trott 22 South Africa RSA
13 Éva Risztov 26 Hungary HUN
14 Kristel Köbrich 26 Chile CHI
15 Savannah King 20 Canada CAN
16 Cecilia Biagioli 27 Argentina ARG
17 Julia Hassler 19 Liechtenstein LIE
18 Kylie Palmer 22 Australia AUS
19 Katya Bachrouche 22 Lebanon LIB
20 Jess Ashwood 19 Australia AUS
21 Kate Ziegler 24 United States USA
22 Ellie Faulkner 19 Great Britain GBR
23 Camelia Potec 30 Romania ROU
24 Xin Xin 15 China CHN
25 Tjaša Oder 18 Slovenia SLO
26 Yelena Sokolova 21 Russia RUS
27 Patricia Castañeda 22 Mexico MEX
28 Nina Dittrich 21 Austria AUT
29 Samantha Arévalo 17 Ecuador ECU
30 Khoo Cai Lin 23 Malaysia MAS
31 Lynette Lim 20 Singapore SIN
32 Han Na-Gyeong 19 South Korea KOR
33 Pamela Benítez 21 El Salvador ESA
34 Daniella van den Berg 16 Aruba ARU
35 Simona Marinova 18 Macedonia MKD