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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 24, 1996
Date Finished: July 25, 1996

Gold: USA Brooke Bennett
Silver: GER Dagmar Hase
Bronze: NED Kirsten Vlieghuis


[Janet Evans] began the Atlanta Olympics by handing the Olympic torch over to [Muhammad Ali] at the Opening Ceremony. She ended her career with an attempt to win the Olympic title at 800 metres for an unprecedented third time.

A year earlier Evans would have been favourite to retain her title but in 1995 her eight-year winning streak at the distance had been snapped by compatriot [Brooke Bennett]. Despite having only just turned 16 Bennett dominated the event in front of her home crowd. She hit the lead on the second of the 16 lengths and slowly moved away over the rest of the race. Bennett finished two seconds clear of second-placed [Dagmar Hase] of Germany.

This was the last race before retirement for Janet Evans although 16 years later and by then aged 40, she returned to make an unsuccessful attempt at qualifying for the 2012 Games.

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