Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 800 metre freestyle
|Women's 800 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
|Venue||Beijing National Aquatics Center|
|Date||August 14, 2008 (heats)
August 16, 2008 (final)
|Competitors||36 from 29 nations|
|Winning time||8:14.10 WR|
|Swimming events at the
2008 Summer Olympics
Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington broke one of the oldest world records in the book to claim a second Olympic gold, following her first triumph in the 400 m freestyle. She touched the wall first in 8:14.10, slashing 2.12-second deficit off Janet Evans' world record which had stood for nearly 19 years. Sitting in the stands of the Water Cube, Evans found a kindred spirit in Adlington as she looked down on the British teenager breaking a long-lasting world record, and then congratulated her.
Coming from sixth place in the 350-metre lap, Italy's Alessia Filippi registered a time of 8:20.23 for a silver medal. Lotte Friis ended Denmark's 20-year medal drought in swimming to claim a bronze in 8:23.03, edging out Romania's Camelia Potec (8:23.03) on the final lap by eight-hundredths of a second. China's Li Xuanxu finished fifth with a time of 8:26.34, and was followed in the sixth spot by Australia's Kylie Palmer in 8:26.39. Russia's Yelena Sokolova (8:29.79) and another Brit Cassandra Patten (8:32.35) rounded out the finale. Notable swimmers missed out the top 8 final featuring U.S. top favorites Katie Hoff and Kate Ziegler, both of whom placed tenth and eleventh in the prelims race.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Janet Evans (USA)||8:16.22||Tokyo, Japan||20 August 1989|
|Olympic record||Brooke Bennett (USA)||8:19.67||Sydney, Australia||22 September 2000|
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|August 14||Heat 4||Rebecca Adlington||Great Britain||8:18.06||OR|
|August 16||Final||Rebecca Adlington||Great Britain||8:14.10||WR, OR|
|4||Rebecca Adlington||Great Britain||8:14.10||WR|
|8||8||Cassandra Patten||Great Britain||8:32.35|
- "Olympic Swimming Schedule". USA Today. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (15 August 2008). "We Loved You While You Lasted Janet, Rebecca Adlington Erases Longest Standing World Record With Evans' Mark in 800 Free". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- "Adlington storms to second gold". BBC Sport. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Speck, Ivan (16 August 2008). "Former champion Evans finds a kindred spirit in Adlington, the woman who stole her record". Mail Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (14 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Rebecca Adlington Sets Olympic Record in 800 Free Prelims". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- "Golden girl Rebecca Adlington breaks Olympic record". Mail Online. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Dimond, Jeff (October 1989). "Swim and Deliver" (PDF). Swimming World and Junior Swimmer. 30 (10): 41–44. Retrieved 8 June 2008.