Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 11, 2008
Date Finished: August 13, 2008
The long range favourite for the Olympic title was undoubtedly America's [Katie Hoff] but the events of the first days of Olympic competition suggested that the double world champion in this event might not be the force she was expected to be. Allied to that was the fact that her crowded schedule meant that this was to be her second final within an hour. The final turned into a carbon copy of the 400 metres medley that had taken place three days earlier with Australia's [Steph Rice] and [Kirsty Coventry] of Zimbabwe vying to be Olympic champion. Like the 400 Coventry opened up a lead but was pegged back and overtaken by Rice in the closing stages. This was the second of Rice's three Olympic gold medals and the third silver medal won by Coventry in Beijing. [Natalie Coughlin], who had made a last minute to race this event at the US trials, finished ahead of Hoff for the bronze medal.