Swimming at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Women's 400 metre freestyle
|Women's 400 metre freestyle|
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
|Venue||Olympic Aquatics Stadium|
|Dates||7 August 2016|
|Competitors||32 from 25 nations|
|Winning time||3:56.46 WR|
U.S. distance ace Katie Ledecky put together a powerful attack on her existing world record to become the first Olympic champion in the event for the Americans, since Brooke Bennett topped the podium in 2000. Leading from the start, Ledecky quickly dropped two seconds under a world-record pace, as she pulled away further from the field to smash her own record with a gold-medal time in 3:56.46. Trailing the leader by almost five seconds, Great Britain's distance-freestyle swimmer Jazmin Carlin fought off a tight battle against Ledecky's teammate Leah Smith on the final lap for the silver in 4:01.23. Meanwhile, Smith faded down the stretch to pick up a bronze with a 4:01.92.
Boglárka Kapás missed the podium in fourth with a Hungarian record of 4:02.37 from the outside lane, while Canada's Brittany MacLean posted a fifth-place time in 4:04.69. Australian duo Tamsin Cook (4:05.30) and Jessica Ashwood (4:05.68) kept a close race to take the sixth and seventh spots respectively, separated by a 0.4-second margin. France's three-time Olympian Coralie Balmy rounded out the top eight with a 4:06.98.
Earlier in the prelims, Ledecky opened her first individual race of the Games with a new Olympic record of 3:58.71 to immediately lock the top seed for the final, clearing a four-minute barrier at the Games for the first time, and slashing 2.74 seconds off the mark set in London 2012 by reigning champion Camille Muffat of France, who was killed on a helicopter crash in March 2015.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Katie Ledecky (USA)||3:58.37||Gold Coast, Australia||23 August 2014|||
|Olympic record||Camille Muffat (FRA)||4:01.45||London, Great Britain||29 July 2012|||
The following records were established during the competition:
|7 August||Heat 4||Katie Ledecky||United States||3:58.71||OR|
|7 August||Final||Katie Ledecky||United States||3:56.46||WR, OR|
The competition consisted of two rounds: heats and a final. The swimmers with the best 8 times in the heats advanced to the final. Swim-offs were used as necessary to break ties for advancement to the next round.
The heats began 2:28 pm.
|4||Katie Ledecky||United States||3:56.46||WR|
|5||Jazmin Carlin||Great Britain||4:01.23|
|3||Leah Smith||United States||4:01.92|
- "Women's 400m Freestyle". Rio 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Katie Ledecky smashes world record to win Olympic gold in 400-meter freestyle". The Washington Post. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Auerbach, Nicole (8 August 2016). "Katie Ledecky wins gold in women's 400 free, breaks her own world record". USA Today. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Rio Olympics 2016: Briton Jazz Carlin wins 400m freestyle silver". BBC Sport. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Katie Ledecky Smashes 400 Free World Record; Earns First Gold Medal For USA". Swimming World Magazine. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Johnson, Raphielle (8 August 2016). "Katie Ledecky wins 400 free, shatters WR; Smith third". NBC Olympics. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Drehs, Wayne (7 August 2016). "Katie Ledecky posts Olympic record in 400-meter freestyle". ESPN. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Katie Ledecky Posts Olympic Record in 400 Freestyle Prelims". Swimming World Magazine. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Katie Ledecky Breaks 400 Freestyle World Record". ABC News. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- Baldwin, Alan (29 July 2012). "Muffat takes on Manaudou's mantle". Reuters. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
- "Women's 400m Freestyle Heats Results:" (PDF). Rio 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.