| Event type

800 metres Freestyle, Women

Date2 – 3 August 2012
LocationLondon Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Participants35 from 28 countries

Britain’s Becky Adlington was the defending champion and the 2011 World Champion, and the entire British crowd was there to root her home again. Her biggest challenger was expected to be Denmark’s Lotte Friis, runner-up at the 2011 Worlds in this event and World Champion in the non-Olympic 1,500. But at the US Olympic Trials in June a young American, 15-year-old Katie Ledecky had served notice she should be watched. And the other swimmers did watch her, from behind for the entire final. Ledecky went out ahead of world record pace for 200 metres, with Adlington and Friis trying to hang on. By 600 metres she had moved two bodylengths in front and had only to hold on for the gold medal. Ledecky won in 8:14.63, the second fastest time ever, just off Adlington’s world record of 8:14.10 from the Beijing Olympics, but Ledecky’s was done in a textile suit. Adlington suffered in the final laps and dropped back to bronze, with the silver taken by Spain’s Mireia Belmonte. Friis also faded near the end and placed fifth.

Ledecky became the youngest ever champion in this event at 15 years, 139 days, bettering the previous youngest, who was 1976 East German champion Petra Thümer, then 15-177. It also made her the seventh youngest individual swimming gold medalist in any Olympic event, and sixth youngest woman.

1Katie LedeckyUSA8:23.84 (1 h3)8:14.63 (1)Gold
2Mireia BelmonteESP8:25.26 (2 h3)8:18.76 (2)Silver
3Becky AdlingtonGBR8:21.78 (1 h5)8:20.32 (3)Bronze
4Lauren BoyleNZL8:25.91 (2 h5)8:22.72 (4)
5Lotte FriisDEN8:21.89 (1 h4)8:23.86 (5)
6Boglárka KapásHUN8:26.43 (=2 h4)8:23.89 (6)
7Coralie BalmyFRA8:27.15 (4 h4)8:29.26 (7)
8Andreína PintoVEN8:26.43 (=2 h4)8:29.28 (8)
9Shao YiwenCHN8:27.78 (3 h5)
10Erika VillaécijaESP8:27.99 (4 h5)
11Alexa KomarnyckyCAN8:28.11 (3 h3)
12Wendy TrottRSA8:28.98 (4 h3)
13Éva RisztovHUN8:29.06 (5 h3)
14Kristel KöbrichCHI8:29.55 (5 h4)
15Savannah KingCAN8:29.72 (5 h5)
16Cecilia BiagioliARG8:33.97 (6 h5)
17Julia HasslerLIE8:35.18 (1 h2)
18Kylie PalmerAUS8:35.75 (6 h4)
19Katya BachroucheLBN8:35.88 (2 h2)
20Jessica AshwoodAUS8:37.21 (7 h5)
21Kate ZieglerUSA8:37.38 (8 h5)
22Ellie FaulknerGBR8:38.00 (6 h3)
23Camelia PotecROU8:38.44 (7 h4)
24Xin XinCHN8:40.88 (8 h4)
25Tjaša OderSLO8:41.82 (3 h2)
26Yelena SokolovaRUS8:42.73 (7 h3)
27Patricia CastañedaMEX8:44.44 (4 h2)
28Nina DittrichAUT8:45.41 (5 h2)
29Samantha ArévaloECU8:49.21 (1 h1)
30Khoo Cai LinMAS8:51.18 (6 h2)
31Lynette LimSGP8:52.92 (7 h2)
32Han Na-GyeongKOR8:57.26 (8 h2)
33Pamela BenítezESA9:02.66 (2 h1)
34Daniella van den BergARU9:23.21 (3 h1)
35Simona MarinovaMKD9:28.41 (4 h1)
DNSGráinne MurphyIRL– (DNS h3)

Round One (2 August 2012 — 10:19)

Fastest eight swimmers advanced to final

Heat One (10:19)

14Samantha ArévaloECU8:49.210.73
25Pamela BenítezESA9:02.660.74
36Daniella van den BergARU9:23.210.78
43Simona MarinovaMKD9:28.410.93

Heat Two (10:30)

14Julia HasslerLIE8:35.180.77
22Katya BachroucheLBN8:35.880.76
35Tjaša OderSLO8:41.820.87
46Patricia CastañedaMEX8:44.440.80
53Nina DittrichAUT8:45.410.87
67Khoo Cai LinMAS8:51.180.72
71Lynette LimSGP8:52.920.65
88Han Na-GyeongKOR8:57.260.74

Heat Three (10:41)

14Katie LedeckyUSA8:23.840.70Q
25Mireia BelmonteESP8:25.260.72Q
31Alexa KomarnyckyCAN8:28.110.85
43Wendy TrottRSA8:28.980.76
52Éva RisztovHUN8:29.060.81
66Ellie FaulknerGBR8:38.000.75
78Yelena SokolovaRUS8:42.730.81
DNS7Gráinne MurphyIRL

Heat Four (10:51)

14Lotte FriisDEN8:21.890.79Q
=23Boglárka KapásHUN8:26.430.72Q
=28Andreína PintoVEN8:26.430.77Q
42Coralie BalmyFRA8:27.150.75Q
57Kristel KöbrichCHI8:29.550.85
66Kylie PalmerAUS8:35.750.74
71Camelia PotecROU8:38.440.85
85Xin XinCHN8:40.880.86

Heat Five (11:02)

14Becky AdlingtonGBR8:21.780.77Q
26Lauren BoyleNZL8:25.910.80Q
33Shao YiwenCHN8:27.780.68
42Erika VillaécijaESP8:27.990.76
51Savannah KingCAN8:29.720.79
68Cecilia BiagioliARG8:33.970.81
77Jessica AshwoodAUS8:37.210.77
85Kate ZieglerUSA8:37.380.83

Final (3 August 2012 — 19:45)

13Katie LedeckyUSA8:14.630.73
26Mireia BelmonteESP8:18.760.75
34Becky AdlingtonGBR8:20.320.77
42Lauren BoyleNZL8:22.720.81
55Lotte FriisDEN8:23.860.76
67Boglárka KapásHUN8:23.890.76
78Coralie BalmyFRA8:29.260.77
81Andreína PintoVEN8:29.280.75