| Event type

400 metres Individual Medley, Women

Date9 – 10 August 2008
LocationBeijing Guojia Youyong Zhongxin, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants37 from 27 countries
Olympic Record 4:33.59 / Yana Klochkova UKR / 16 September 2000

The story of the shorter of the two medley events should have been a showdown between two women who had exchanged the world record between over the early part of 2008. The current holder, America’s Katie Hoff, had also won the last two editions of the World Championships and this race was planned to yield her first of a possible six golds from these Games. Her main rival appeared to be Commonwealth Games champion, Steph Rice of Australia, whose world record at the Australian Olympic trials had lasted just a few months before Hoff bettered it at her own national trials. Beijing was not kind to Hoff and she failed to swim to her usual standard although even an under par performance was still good enough for a place on the podium.

The final itself turned instead into a battle between Rice and the 2004 bronze medal winner, Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe. Swimming in lane 1 after only just qualifying for the final, Coventry led at the halfway stage but a strong breaststroke leg saw Rice edging into a lead that she never gave up despite a strong finish from the Zimbawean. For her efforts at the Beijing Olympics Rice was named FINA’s “World Swimmer of the Year”.

1Steph RiceAUS4:35.11 (1 h4)4:29.45 (1)Gold
2Kirsty CoventryZIM4:36.43 (3 h4)4:29.89 (2)Silver
3Katie HoffUSA4:34.63 (1 h5)4:31.71 (3)Bronze
4Elizabeth BeiselUSA4:34.55 (1 h3)4:34.24 (4)
5Alessia FilippiITA4:35.11 (2 h3)4:34.34 (5)
6Hannah MileyGBR4:36.56 (2 h5)4:39.44 (6)
7Yana MartynovaRUS4:36.25 (3 h3)4:40.04 (7)
8Li XuanxuCHN4:36.35 (2 h4)4:42.13 (8)
9Kasia BaranowskaPOL4:36.95 (4 h4)
10Kathryn MeaklimRSA4:37.11 (5 h4)
11Maiko FujinoJPN4:37.35 (4 h3)
12Katinka HosszúHUN4:37.55 (3 h5)
13Zsu JakabosHUN4:37.86 (4 h5)
14Mireia BelmonteESP4:37.91 (5 h5)
15Keri-Anne PayneGBR4:38.69 (5 h3)
16Anja KlinarSLO4:38.90 (6 h5)
17Joanna MaranhãoBRA4:40.18 (1 h2)
18Sara NordenstamNOR4:40.28 (2 h2)
19Camille MuffatFRA4:40.29 (6 h4)
20Tanya HunksCAN4:40.63 (6 h3)
21Jessica PengellyRSA4:41.04 (7 h5)
22Samantha HamillAUS4:41.89 (7 h3)
23Joanne AndracaFRA4:43.88 (8 h5)
24Helen NorfolkNZL4:44.22 (8 h3)
25Liu JingCHN4:44.96 (3 h2)
26Jördis SteineggerAUT4:45.15 (4 h2)
27Saori HaruguchiJPN4:45.22 (7 h4)
28Nam Yu-SeonKOR4:46.74 (1 h1)
29Alexa KomarnyckyCAN4:46.98 (8 h4)
30Susana EscobarMEX4:47.32 (5 h2)
31Svetlana KarpeyevaRUS4:50.22 (6 h2)
32Quah Ting WenSGP4:51.25 (2 h1)
33Katharina SchillerGER4:51.52 (7 h2)
34Lew Yih WeyMAS4:55.83 (3 h1)
35Anna-Liisa PõldEST4:58.21 (4 h1)
36Georgina BardachARG5:00.87 (8 h2)
37Nimitta ThaveesupsoonthornTHA5:02.18 (5 h1)
DNSMaroua MathlouthiTUN– (DNS h1)

Round One (9 August 2008)

Fastest eight swimmers advanced to final

Heat One (19:47)

13Nam Yu-SeonKOR4:46.740.88
26Quah Ting WenSGP4:51.250.62
34Lew Yih WeyMAS4:55.830.90
45Anna-Liisa PõldEST4:58.210.75
57Nimitta ThaveesupsoonthornTHA5:02.180.77
DNS2Maroua MathlouthiTUN

Heat Two (19:54)

13Joanna MaranhãoBRA4:40.180.73
27Sara NordenstamNOR4:40.280.84
35Liu JingCHN4:44.960.80
41Jördis SteineggerAUT4:45.150.89
58Susana EscobarMEX4:47.320.77
66Svetlana KarpeyevaRUS4:50.220.73
72Katharina SchillerGER4:51.520.83
84Georgina BardachARG5:00.870.83

Heat Three (20:00)

14Elizabeth BeiselUSA4:34.550.70Q
25Alessia FilippiITA4:35.110.84Q
33Yana MartynovaRUS4:36.251.00Q
47Maiko FujinoJPN4:37.350.78
56Keri-Anne PayneGBR4:38.690.69
68Tanya HunksCAN4:40.630.81
71Samantha HamillAUS4:41.890.75
82Helen NorfolkNZL4:44.220.85

Heat Four (20:08)

14Steph RiceAUS4:35.110.92Q
23Li XuanxuCHN4:36.350.81Q
35Kirsty CoventryZIM4:36.430.76Q
47Kasia BaranowskaPOL4:36.950.79
51Kathryn MeaklimRSA4:37.110.82
66Camille MuffatFRA4:40.290.85
72Saori HaruguchiJPN4:45.220.77
88Alexa KomarnyckyCAN4:46.980.80

Heat Five (20:16)

14Katie HoffUSA4:34.630.77Q
25Hannah MileyGBR4:36.560.75Q
33Katinka HosszúHUN4:37.551.02
42Zsu JakabosHUN4:37.860.88
57Mireia BelmonteESP4:37.910.86
68Anja KlinarSLO4:38.900.88
71Jessica PengellyRSA4:41.040.70
86Joanne AndracaFRA4:43.880.83

Final (10 August 2008 — 10:48)

16Steph RiceAUS4:29.450.90WR
21Kirsty CoventryZIM4:29.890.74
35Katie HoffUSA4:31.710.77
44Elizabeth BeiselUSA4:34.240.70
53Alessia FilippiITA4:34.340.90
68Hannah MileyGBR4:39.440.73
72Yana MartynovaRUS4:40.040.87
87Li XuanxuCHN4:42.130.80