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Swimming at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 11, 2016
Date Finished: August 12, 2016

Gold: USA Katie Ledecky
Silver: GBR Jazz Carlin
Bronze: HUN Boglárka Kapás


Swimming World magazine predicted that this race would be over by 25 metres, if not by the time the swimmers took their blocks. [Katie Ledecky] was a prohibitive favorite. She was the defending champion, the 2013 and 2015 World Champion, the 2014 Pan-Pac Champion, and had never been defeated at 800 metres in international competition. She had already won gold in the 200 free, the 400 free, and anchored the USA to gold in the 4x200 free relay, so she was obviously in good form. The only major question was how fast she could swim. The world record of 8:06.68, which she held, was felt to have no shelf life, but what was possible for her – 8:04, 8:03, 8:02? The only other question was who would get the other medals.

In the prelims Ledecky posted 8:12.86, winning the heat by over 6½ seconds. In the final, if there was any doubt at all of her dominance, it was over by 100 metres, as she led Britain’s [Jazz Carlin] by almost two seconds. That lead was increased at each split, eventually winning in a world record 8:04.79, besting Carlin by 11.38 seconds, the largest margin in the event since [Debbie Meyer] won by 11.7 seconds in 1968, the first time it was held at the Olympics.

Ledecky’s 200-400-800 triple matched the feat of Meyer, who won the same events in 1968. Her four gold medals in Rio had been previously done, among women, by [Kornelia Ender] in 1976, [Amy Van Dyken] in 1996, and [Missy Franklin] in 2012, all trailing the six golds won by [Kristin Otto] in 1988. Her three individual golds made her the eighth woman to achieve this at one Olympics in swimming, also trailing Otto, who won four in 1988.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Katie Ledecky 19 United States USA Gold WR
2 Jazz Carlin 25 Great Britain GBR Silver
3 Boglárka Kapás 23 Hungary HUN Bronze
4 Mireia Belmonte 25 Spain ESP
5 Jessica Ashwood 23 Australia AUS
6 Leah Smith 21 United States USA
7 Lotte Friis 28 Denmark DEN
8 Sarah Köhler 22 Germany GER
9 Lauren Boyle 28 New Zealand NZL
10 Brittany MacLean 22 Canada CAN
11 Hou Yawen 17 China CHN
12 Andreina Pinto 24 Venezuela VEN
13 Tjaša Oder 22 Slovenia SLO
14 Éva Risztov 30 Hungary HUN
15 Camilla Hattersley 21 Great Britain GBR
16 Emma Robinson 21 New Zealand NZL
17 Kristel Köbrich 30 Chile CHI
18 Zhang Yuhan 21 China CHN
19 María Vilas 20 Spain ESP
20 Tamsin Cook 17 Australia AUS
21 Julia Hassler 23 Liechtenstein LIE
22 Valerie Gruest 17 Guatemala GUA
23 Joanna Evans 19 Bahamas BAH
24 Tamila Holub 17 Portugal POR
25 Leonie Beck 19 Germany GER
26 Arina Opyonysheva 17 Russia RUS
27 Talita Te Flan 21 Cote d'Ivoire CIV