| Event type

800 metres Freestyle, Women

Date24 – 25 July 1996
LocationGeorgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Participants28 from 22 countries

Janet Evans began the Atlanta Olympics by handing the Olympic torch over to Muhammad Ali at the Opening Ceremony. She ended her career with an attempt to win the Olympic title at 800 metres for an unprecedented third time.

A year earlier Evans would have been favourite to retain her title but in 1995 her eight-year winning streak at the distance had been snapped by compatriot Brooke Bennett. Despite having only just turned 16 Bennett dominated the event in front of her home crowd. She hit the lead on the second of the 16 lengths and slowly moved away over the rest of the race. Bennett finished two seconds clear of second-placed Dagmar Hase of Germany.

This was the last race before retirement for Janet Evans although 16 years later and by then aged 40, she returned to make an unsuccessful attempt at qualifying for the 2012 Games.

1Brooke BennettUSA8:32.38 (1 h3)8:27.89 (1)Gold
2Dagmar HaseGER8:33.55 (2 h3)8:29.91 (2)Silver
3Kirsten VlieghuisNED8:39.73 (4 h3)8:30.84 (3)Bronze
4Kerstin KielgaßGER8:36.33 (3 h3)8:31.06 (4)
5Irene DalbyNOR8:37.73 (2 h2)8:38.34 (5)
6Janet EvansUSA8:38.08 (3 h2)8:38.91 (6)
7Carla GeurtsNED8:39.85 (4 h2)8:40.43 (7)
8Sarah HardcastleGBR8:37.54 (1 h2)8:41.75 (8)
9Lin Chi-ChanTPE8:40.31 (1 h4)
10Eri YamanoiJPN8:40.47 (2 h4)
11Stacey GartrellAUS8:42.39 (3 h4)
12Pu YiqiCHN8:45.32 (4 h4)
13Hayley LewisAUS8:45.79 (5 h4)
14Nikki DrydenCAN8:47.19 (5 h3)
15Olga ŠplíchalováCZE8:47.68 (6 h3)
16Sandra CamBEL8:48.33 (5 h2)
17Alicia BarrancosARG8:48.54 (6 h4)
18Itziar EsparzaESP8:50.22 (6 h2)
19Stephanie RichardsonCAN8:52.61 (7 h3)
20Carla-Creola NegreaROU8:54.19 (7 h4)
21Aiko MiyakeJPN8:55.77 (8 h4)
22Mirjana BoševskaMKD8:57.52 (8 h3)
23Ravee Intaporn-UdomTHA9:01.14 (1 h1)
24Seo Hyeon-SuKOR9:03.22 (2 h1)
25Rita KovácsHUN9:06.97 (7 h2)
26Maritza ChiawayPER9:09.12 (3 h1)
27Olga KorotayevaKGZ9:21.20 (4 h1)
28Daniela MenegonSWZ10:12.46 (5 h1)
DNSChen YanCHN– (DNS h2)

Round One (24 July 1996)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One (12:00)

15Ravee Intaporn-UdomTHA9:01.140.83
24Seo Hyeon-SuKOR9:03.220.86
36Maritza ChiawayPER9:09.120.96
43Olga KorotayevaKGZ9:21.200.89
52Daniela MenegonSWZ10:12.460.83

Heat Two (12:15)

13Sarah HardcastleGBR8:37.540.79Q
26Irene DalbyNOR8:37.730.83Q
34Janet EvansUSA8:38.080.82Q
42Carla GeurtsNED8:39.850.72Q
51Sandra CamBEL8:48.330.79
67Itziar EsparzaESP8:50.220.78
78Rita KovácsHUN9:06.970.90

Heat Three (12:30)

14Brooke BennettUSA8:32.380.84Q
23Dagmar HaseGER8:33.550.87Q
36Kerstin KielgaßGER8:36.330.86Q
45Kirsten VlieghuisNED8:39.730.81Q
57Nikki DrydenCAN8:47.190.93
62Olga ŠplíchalováCZE8:47.680.94
71Stephanie RichardsonCAN8:52.610.82
88Mirjana BoševskaMKD8:57.520.79

Heat Four (12:45)

16Lin Chi-ChanTPE8:40.310.82
27Eri YamanoiJPN8:40.470.86
35Stacey GartrellAUS8:42.390.84
43Pu YiqiCHN8:45.320.87
54Hayley LewisAUS8:45.790.81
61Alicia BarrancosARG8:48.540.89
78Carla-Creola NegreaROU8:54.190.86
82Aiko MiyakeJPN8:55.770.84

Final (25 July 1996 — 19:30)

14Brooke BennettUSA8:27.890.84
25Dagmar HaseGER8:29.910.85
31Kirsten VlieghuisNED8:30.840.85
43Kerstin KielgaßGER8:31.060.89
52Irene DalbyNOR8:38.340.81
67Janet EvansUSA8:38.910.83
78Carla GeurtsNED8:40.430.73
86Sarah HardcastleGBR8:41.750.80