Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 200 metre freestyle
|Women's 200 metre freestyle|
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
|Venue||Beijing National Aquatics Center|
|Date||August 11, 2008 (heats)|
August 12, 2008(semifinals)
August 13, 2008 (final)
|Competitors||46 from 37 nations|
|Winning time||1:54.82 WR|
Italy's Federica Pellegrini broke a new world record of 1:54.82 to claim a gold medal in the event, which was probably the weakest on the female program. Sara Isakovič, who finished behind Pellegrini by 0.15 of a second, cleared a 1:55 barrier to set a new Slovenian record of 1:54.97, and ultimately become the nation's first ever medalist in swimming. China's Pang Jiaying edged out U.S. swimmer Katie Hoff on the final lap to pick up a bronze in 1:55.05. Hoff settled only for fourth place in an American record of 1:55.78.
Defending champion Camelia Potec finished outside the medals in fifth place, posting a Romanian record of 1:56.87. Great Britain's Caitlin McClatchey earned a sixth spot in 1:57.65, and was followed by a seventh-place tie between Australia's Bronte Barratt and France's Ophélie-Cyrielle Étienne in a matching time of 1:57.83. For the first time in Olympic history, all eight swimmers went faster than a winning time of 1:58.03, previously set by Potec in Athens four years earlier.
Earlier in the prelims, Pang broke one of the oldest Olympic records in the book, when she clocked at 1:57.37 to lead the fourth heat, slashing 0.28 seconds off the old, drug-tainted mark set by East Germany's Heike Friedrich from Seoul in 1988. Two heats later, Pellegrini posted a top-seeded time of 1:55.45 to erase Laure Manaudou's world record, set in 2007.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Laure Manaudou (FRA)||1:55.52||Melbourne, Australia||28 March 2007|
|Olympic record||Heike Friedrich (GDR)||1:57.65||Seoul, South Korea||21 September 1988|
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|August 11||Heat 4||Pang Jiaying||China||1:57.37||OR|
|August 11||Heat 5||Sara Isakovič||Slovenia||1:55.86||OR|
|August 11||Heat 6||Federica Pellegrini||Italy||1:55.45||WR, OR|
|August 13||Final||Federica Pellegrini||Italy||1:54.82||WR, OR|
|2||5||Katie Hoff||United States||1:57.01||Q, AM|
|7||1||Joanne Jackson||Great Britain||1:58.70|
|3||5||Caitlin McClatchey||Great Britain||1:57.73||Q|
|5||6||Allison Schmitt||United States||1:58.01|
|3||Federica Pellegrini||Italy||1:54.82||WR, OR|
|4||5||Katie Hoff||United States||1:55.78||AM|
|6||1||Caitlin McClatchey||Great Britain||1:57.65|
- "Olympic Swimming Schedule". USA Today. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (12 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Federica Pellegrini Breaks 1:55, Lowers 200 Free World Record". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "Pellegrini takes 200m free gold". BBC Sport. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "Katie Hoff falls short in 200 freestyle, 200 IM". NBC News. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (11 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Federica Pellegrini Downs World Record in 200 Free Prelims". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "Phelps shines as records tumble". BBC News. 28 March 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2008.