Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 400 metre freestyle
|Women's 400 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
|Venue||Beijing National Aquatics Center|
|Date||August 10, 2008 (heats)
August 11, 2008 (final)
|Competitors||42 from 35 nations|
|Swimming events at the
2008 Summer Olympics
Rebecca Adlington became Great Britain's first ever female gold medalist in swimming after 48 years. She posted an outside-record time of 4:03.22 to hold off U.S. swimmer Katie Hoff in the final 50 metres with a 1.46-second deficit. Hoff added a silver to her hardware from the 400 m individual medley just a day earlier, in 4:03.29. Adlington's teammate Joanne Jackson earned a bronze in 4:03.52, handing an entire medal haul for Team GB in the pool.
France's Coralie Balmy narrowly missed the podium by eight hundredths of a second (0.08), finishing in fourth place at 4:03.60. Italy's world record holder and top favorite Federica Pellegrini earned a fifth spot in a time of 4:04.56, holding off Romania's Camelia Potec to sixth by 0.10 of a second (4:04.66). Australia's Bronte Barratt (4:05.05) and defending Olympic champion Laure Manaudou (4:11.26).
Notable swimmers missed out the top 8 final, featuring Poland's Otylia Jędrzejczak, silver medalist in Athens four years earlier, Hoff's teammate Kate Ziegler, and South Africa's Wendy Trott, who broke a new African record (4:08.38) in the heats.
Earlier in the prelims, Pellegrini, Hoff, Jackson, and Adlington broke one of the oldest Olympic records in the book as they each went under the time of 4:03.85, which had stood since Janet Evans won the gold medal in the event at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Federica Pellegrini (ITA)||4:01.53||Eindhoven, Netherlands||24 March 2008|||
|Olympic record||Janet Evans (USA)||4:03.85||Seoul, South Korea||22 September 1988|
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|August 10||Heat 5||Katie Hoff||United States||4:03.71||OR|
|August 10||Heat 6||Federica Pellegrini||Italy||4:02.19||OR|
|5||Rebecca Adlington||Great Britain||4:03.22|
|3||Katie Hoff||United States||4:03.29||AM|
|6||Joanne Jackson||Great Britain||4:03.52|
- "Olympic Swimming Schedule". USA Today. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Adlington snatches swimming gold". BBC Sport. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (10 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Rebecca Adlington Overtakes Katie Hoff for Gold in Women's 400 Free". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Kitson, Robert (11 August 2008). "Olympics: Rebecca Adlington wins gold for Britain in 400m freestyle". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Lonsbrough, Anita (11 August 2008). "Rebecca Adlington wins gold on a rewarding day for Britain – Beijing Olympics 2008". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (10 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Olympic Record Falls Twice in Women's 400 Free, Federica Pellegrini Tops Qualifying". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- "Veldhuis and Pellegrini set world records at Euro swimming championships". International Herald Tribune. 24 March 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008.