| Event type

800 metres Freestyle, Women

Date11 – 12 August 2016
LocationEstádio Aquático Olímpico, Parque Olímpico da Barra, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Participants27 from 19 countries

Swimming World magazine predicted that this race would be over by 25 metres, if not by the time the swimmers took their blocks. Katie Ledecky was a prohibitive favorite. She was the defending champion, the 2013 and 2015 World Champion, the 2014 Pan-Pac Champion, and had never been defeated at 800 metres in international competition. She had already won gold in the 200 free, the 400 free, and anchored the USA to gold in the 4x200 free relay, so she was obviously in good form. The only major question was how fast she could swim. The world record of 8:06.68, which she held, was felt to have no shelf life, but what was possible for her – 8:04, 8:03, 8:02? The only other question was who would get the other medals.

In the prelims Ledecky posted 8:12.86, winning the heat by over 6½ seconds. In the final, if there was any doubt at all of her dominance, it was over by 100 metres, as she led Britain’s Jazz Carlin by almost two seconds. That lead was increased at each split, eventually winning in a world record 8:04.79, besting Carlin by 11.38 seconds, the largest margin in the event since Debbie Meyer won by 11.7 seconds in 1968, the first time it was held at the Olympics.

Ledecky’s 200-400-800 triple matched the feat of Meyer, who won the same events in 1968. Her four gold medals in Rio had been previously done, among women, by Kornelia Ender in 1976, Amy Van Dyken in 1996, and Missy Franklin in 2012, all trailing the six golds won by Kristin Otto in 1988. Her three individual golds made her the eighth woman to achieve this at one Olympics in swimming, also trailing Otto, who won four in 1988.

1Katie LedeckyUSA8:12.86 (1 h4)8:04.79 (1)GoldWR
2Jazz CarlinGBR8:19.67 (3 h4)8:16.17 (2)Silver
3Boglárka KapásHUN8:19.43 (2 h4)8:16.37 (3)Bronze
4Mireia BelmonteESP8:25.55 (1 h2)8:18.55 (4)
5Jessica AshwoodAUS8:22.57 (2 h3)8:20.32 (5)
6Leah SmithUSA8:21.43 (4 h4)8:20.95 (6)
7Lotte FriisDEN8:22.54 (1 h3)8:24.50 (7)
8Sarah KöhlerGER8:24.65 (5 h4)8:27.75 (8)
9Lauren BoyleNZL8:25.84 (3 h3)
10Brittany MacLeanCAN8:26.43 (4 h3)
11Hou YawenCHN8:30.59 (6 h4)
12Andreína PintoVEN8:30.92 (2 h2)
13Tjaša OderSLO8:33.14 (7 h4)
14Éva RisztovHUN8:33.36 (1 h1)
15Camilla HattersleyGBR8:33.65 (3 h2)
16Emma RobinsonNZL8:33.73 (4 h2)
17Kristel KöbrichCHI8:34.34 (5 h2)
18Zhang YuhanCHN8:35.32 (5 h3)
19María VilasESP8:36.43 (6 h3)
20Tamsin CookAUS8:36.62 (7 h3)
21Julia HasslerLIE8:38.19 (2 h1)
22Valerie GruestGUA8:39.80 (3 h1)
23Joanna EvansBAH8:42.93 (6 h2)
24Tamila HolubPOR8:45.36 (4 h1)
25Leonie BeckGER8:47.47 (7 h2)
26Arina OpyonyshevaRUS8:48.89 (5 h1)
27Talita Te FlanCIV9:07.21 (6 h1)
DNSMartina De MemmeITA– (DNS h2)
DNSAnja KlinarSLO– (DNS h3)
DNSSharon van RouwendaalNED– (DNS h4)

Round One (11 August 2016 — 13:26)

Fastest eight swimmers advanced to final

Heat One (13:26)

15Éva RisztovHUN8:33.360.80
22Julia HasslerLIE8:38.190.80
34Valerie GruestGUA8:39.800.68
46Tamila HolubPOR8:45.360.84
53Arina OpyonyshevaRUS8:48.890.68
67Talita Te FlanCIV9:07.210.85

Heat Two (13:38)

14Mireia BelmonteESP8:25.550.69Q
22Andreína PintoVEN8:30.920.75
36Camilla HattersleyGBR8:33.650.72
47Emma RobinsonNZL8:33.730.72
53Kristel KöbrichCHI8:34.340.81
68Joanna EvansBAH8:42.930.79
75Leonie BeckGER8:47.470.84
DNS1Martina De MemmeITA

Heat Three (13:50)

13Lotte FriisDEN8:22.540.75Q
25Jessica AshwoodAUS8:22.570.77Q
34Lauren BoyleNZL8:25.840.72
46Brittany MacLeanCAN8:26.430.73
52Zhang YuhanCHN8:35.320.71
61María VilasESP8:36.430.68
78Tamsin CookAUS8:36.620.69
DNS7Anja KlinarSLO

Heat Four (14:02)

14Katie LedeckyUSA8:12.860.70QOR
26Boglárka KapásHUN8:19.430.72Q
35Jazz CarlinGBR8:19.670.75Q
43Leah SmithUSA8:21.430.77Q
52Sarah KöhlerGER8:24.650.74Q
68Hou YawenCHN8:30.590.81
71Tjaša OderSLO8:33.140.74
DNS7Sharon van RouwendaalNED

Final (12 August 2016 — 22:20)

14Katie LedeckyUSA8:04.790.70WR
23Jazz CarlinGBR8:16.170.74
35Boglárka KapásHUN8:16.370.68
48Mireia BelmonteESP8:18.550.67
57Jessica AshwoodAUS8:20.320.78
66Leah SmithUSA8:20.950.76
72Lotte FriisDEN8:24.500.78
81Sarah KöhlerGER8:27.750.73