Swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's 400 metre individual medley
|Women's 400 metre individual medley|
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
|Venue||London Aquatics Centre|
|Date||July 28, 2012 (heats & final)|
|Competitors||36 from 29 nations|
|Winning time||4:28.43 WR|
At only 16 years of age, China's Ye Shiwen blasted a new world record to capture the Olympic title in the event. She trailed behind American teenager Elizabeth Beisel more than halfway through the race, before pulling away with a superb freestyle leg to bring home the Olympic gold medal and the world record in a sterling time of 4:28.43. Her spectacular swim also demolished the previous standard from Australia's Stephanie Rice in Beijing four years earlier by more than a second. Meanwhile, Beisel enjoyed the race with a powerful lead on the breaststroke leg, but felt satisfied to claim the silver in 4:31.27. Ye's teammate Li Xuanxu stormed home on the final stretch to grab a bronze in 4:32.91, edging out Hungary's early leader Katinka Hosszú (4:33.49) by more than half a second (0.50).
Great Britain's home favorite Hannah Miley finished fifth in 4:34.17, while Rice, the defending Olympic champion, matched United States' Caitlin Leverenz with an unexpected sixth-place time in 4:35.49. Spain's Mireia Belmonte García rounded out the final roster in 4:35.62.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Stephanie Rice (AUS)||4:29.45||Beijing, China||10 August 2008|||
|Olympic record||Stephanie Rice (AUS)||4:29.45||Beijing, China||10 August 2008||–|
The following records were established during the competition:
|July 28||Final||Ye Shiwen||China||4:28.43||WR, OR|
|4||Elizabeth Beisel||United States||4:31.27|
|5||7||Hannah Miley||Great Britain||4:34.17|
|8||Caitlin Leverenz||United States|
|8||2||Mireia Belmonte García||Spain||4:35.62|
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