| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Women

Date10 – 11 August 2008
LocationBeijing Guojia Youyong Zhongxin, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants41 from 34 countries

The long range favourites were the defending world and Olympic Laure Manaudou of France and the European champion Federica Pellegrini of Italy. Late in 2007 Manaudou’s preparations for Beijing were hampered by the publicity generated by the leak onto the internet of an intimate video showing Manadou and boyfriend Luca Marin. The scandal was elevated by the fact that Manadou and Marin had now broken up and he was now in a relationship with Pellegrini.

Another factor in the equation for Beijing was American’s Katie Hoff who was being touted in the media as “the female Michael Phelps” and was expected to challenge for six medals at the Games. Hoff took the initiative by setting an Olympic record in her heat but it only lasted a matter of minutes before Pellegrini set a new mark. Manadou also made the final but only as the slowest of the eight qualifiers.

For the first part of the race no one appeared willing to take on the pace. An attempt by Manadou to break clear soon floundered and it was not until after half way that the first serious move of the race took place. Katie Hoff pushed ahead and enjoyed a healthy lead with 50 metres to go but as she faded the rest of the pack closed up and in the final strokes Becky Adlington of Great Britain burst through to win the gold medal. Adlington, who was known more for the performances over 800 metres, had never been better than fourth before the final turn but timed the final sprint to perfection to become the first British swimming champion since 1988. Another Briton, Jo Jackson, placed third with Pellegrini paying the price for a slow start back in fifth.

1Becky AdlingtonGBR4:02.24 (2 h6)4:03.22 (1)Gold
2Katie HoffUSA4:03.71 (1 h5)4:03.29 (2)Silver
3Jo JacksonGBR4:03.80 (2 h5)4:03.52 (3)Bronze
4Coralie BalmyFRA4:04.25 (4 h5)4:03.60 (4)
5Federica PellegriniITA4:02.19 (1 h6)4:04.56 (5)
6Camelia PotecROU4:04.55 (1 h4)4:04.66 (6)
7Bronte BarrattAUS4:04.16 (3 h5)4:05.05 (7)
8Laure ManaudouFRA4:04.93 (2 h4)4:11.26 (8)
9Otylia JędrzejczakPOL4:05.50 (3 h4)
10Linda MacKenzieAUS4:05.91 (4 h4)
11Stephanie HornerCAN4:07.45 (3 h6)
12Wendy TrottRSA4:08.38 (5 h5)
13Lotte FriisDEN4:08.47 (6 h5)
=14Kate ZieglerUSA4:09.59 (=4 h6)
=14Flavia RigamontiSUI4:09.59 (=4 h6)
16Jördis SteineggerAUT4:09.72 (5 h4)
17Melissa CorfeRSA4:10.54 (6 h6)
18Gabriella FagundezSWE4:11.40 (7 h5)
19Savannah KingCAN4:11.49 (6 h4)
20Susana EscobarMEX4:11.99 (1 h3)
21Monique FerreiraBRA4:12.21 (2 h3)
22Tan MiaoCHN4:12.35 (7 h4)
23Erika VillaécijaESP4:14.25 (8 h4)
24Stephanie AuHKG4:14.82 (3 h3)
25Jaana EhmckeGER4:15.15 (7 h6)
26Li MoCHN4:15.50 (8 h5)
27Elvira EfstathiouGRE4:15.78 (4 h3)
28Darya BelyakinaRUS4:16.21 (5 h3)
29Boglárka KapásHUN4:16.22 (1 h1)
30Lynette LimSGP4:17.67 (6 h3)
31Ai ShibataJPN4:17.96 (8 h6)
32Yanel PintoVEN4:18.09 (1 h2)
33Nataliya KhudiakovaUKR4:18.34 (2 h2)
34Cecilia BiagioliARG4:19.85 (7 h3)
35Eva LehtonenFIN4:20.07 (3 h2)
36Kristina Lennox-SilvaPUR4:20.17 (4 h2)
37Lee Ji-EunKOR4:21.53 (5 h2)
38Khoo Cai LinMAS4:23.37 (6 h2)
39Golda MarcusESA4:23.50 (7 h2)
40Yang Chin-KueiTPE4:24.78 (8 h3)
41Shrone AustinSEY4:35.86 (2 h1)
DNSNatthanan ChankrajangTHA– (DNS h1)

Round One (10 August 2008)

Heat One (20:04)

14Boglárka KapásHUN4:16.220.81
23Shrone AustinSEY4:35.860.88
DNS5Natthanan ChankrajangTHA

Heat Two (20:11)

12Yanel PintoVEN4:18.090.83
21Nataliya KhudiakovaUKR4:18.340.85
37Eva LehtonenFIN4:20.070.66
43Kristina Lennox-SilvaPUR4:20.170.76
56Lee Ji-EunKOR4:21.530.85
65Khoo Cai LinMAS4:23.370.75
74Golda MarcusESA4:23.500.74

Heat Three (20:18)

13Susana EscobarMEX4:11.990.73
25Monique FerreiraBRA4:12.210.71
36Stephanie AuHKG4:14.820.83
42Elvira EfstathiouGRE4:15.780.79
54Darya BelyakinaRUS4:16.210.75
61Lynette LimSGP4:17.670.60
77Cecilia BiagioliARG4:19.850.80
88Yang Chin-KueiTPE4:24.780.79

Heat Four (20:25)

16Camelia PotecROU4:04.550.94Q
24Laure ManaudouFRA4:04.930.86Q
35Otylia JędrzejczakPOL4:05.500.76
43Linda MacKenzieAUS4:05.910.82
58Jördis SteineggerAUT4:09.720.88
61Savannah KingCAN4:11.490.79
77Tan MiaoCHN4:12.350.76
82Erika VillaécijaESP4:14.250.84

Heat Five (20:32)

14Katie HoffUSA4:03.710.76QOR
26Jo JacksonGBR4:03.800.74Q
33Bronte BarrattAUS4:04.160.69Q
45Coralie BalmyFRA4:04.250.85Q
52Wendy TrottRSA4:08.380.81
67Lotte FriisDEN4:08.470.80
71Gabriella FagundezSWE4:11.400.89
88Li MoCHN4:15.500.77

Heat Six (20:38)

14Federica PellegriniITA4:02.190.72QOR
23Becky AdlingtonGBR4:02.240.86Q
31Stephanie HornerCAN4:07.450.76
=45Kate ZieglerUSA4:09.590.75
=47Flavia RigamontiSUI4:09.590.90
62Melissa CorfeRSA4:10.540.75
78Jaana EhmckeGER4:15.150.86
86Ai ShibataJPN4:17.960.89

Final (11 August 2008 — 11:17)

15Becky AdlingtonGBR4:03.220.82
23Katie HoffUSA4:03.290.80
36Jo JacksonGBR4:03.520.79
47Coralie BalmyFRA4:03.600.83
54Federica PellegriniITA4:04.560.80
61Camelia PotecROU4:04.660.88
72Bronte BarrattAUS4:05.050.71
88Laure ManaudouFRA4:11.260.87