Flash! World Championships: World Record for Katie Hoff in 400 Individual Medley

By John Lohn

MELBOURNE, Australia, April 1. TO understand her excitement level, all you had to do was see her action, the little jump and splash of the water. Taking down the seven-year old standard of the Ukraine's Yana Klochkova, American Katie Hoff broke the world record in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:32.89. That time was better than Klochkova's 4:33.59 from the Sydney Olympics.

Hoff entered the race as the defending champion and top seed and left little doubt she would blow away the field. Working the breaststroke leg superbly, Hoff opened up a sizable lead and went from being two seconds over world-record pace to a second under. She simply maintained her rhythm in the freestyle leg for the first individual world record of her career.

"I'm pretty shocked right now," said Hoff, who won the 200 I.M. earlier in the week and was a member of the United States' world-record setting 800 freestyle relay. "I'm so excited to do so well and have been working hard for the last year. To see it pay off is great. I'm really motivated for Beijing."

Taking the silver medal behind Hoff was Russia's Yana Martynova with an effort of 4:40.14. Martynova tried to stay with Hoff through the first two legs, but was whipped once the breaststroke came around. The bronze medalist was Stephanie Rice of Australia in 4:41.19 while fourth was taken by Aussie Jennifer Reilly in 4:41.53. American Ariana Kukors placed fifth in 4:41.87.

Click Here to view event results PDF file.