Olympics, Swimming: Rebecca Adlington Overtakes Katie Hoff for Gold in Women’s 400 Free

By John Lohn

BEIJING, China, August 11. THE British are coming. At least that's what the results of the women's 400 freestyle indicate as Rebecca Adlington and Jo Jackson handed the Brits a gold-bronze finish that will no doubt delight the Commonwealth. Making it more of a celebration was the come-from-behind fashion of Adlington's triumph.

Making a stronger impression with each of her swims over the past several months, Adlington made her biggest statement in an Olympic final, tracking down Katie Hoff over the last lap to win the 400 free in 4:03.22. Adlington went into the final 50 meters with a 1.46-second deficit to Hoff. But she continued to churn away and her final split of 29.18 landed her the gold medal.

For Hoff, it was her second medal of the Games, complementing the bronze she won in the 400 individual medley during the first morning of finals. Hoff took the lead at the 200-meter mark and stayed in command until just before the wall, when Adlington went ahead. Hoff was timed in 4:03.29, her final-lap split a 30.71.

Jackson added to the British success when she held off France's Coralie Balmy for the bronze medal. Jackson went 4:03.52 to the 4:03.60 of Balmy. Following in fifth was Italian Federica Pellegrini, the world-record holder and top seed going into the race. Pellegrini managed to go 4:04.56, slightly faster than the 4:04.66 of Romania's Camelia Potec. Seventh went to Aussie Bronte Barratt (4:05.05) and France's Laure Manaudou, the defending champ, was eighth in 4:11.26.