Hoff Takes a Bite Out of Rice WR: 4:31.12 400 IM
Adam Sioui
Omaha Day 1, finals: World champion regains the 400m medley standard

Katie Hoff is sitting on top of the world in the 400 IM. For the moment anyway. On the first night of the 2008 US Olympic Trials in Omaha, the North Baltimore swimmer bested Stephanie Rice's (AUS) three month old World record.

Hoff was out nearly three seconds slower than her Australian counterpart after 200 metres, but switched gears during the breaststroke leg, which pushed her half a second under WR pace thru 300.


Hoff: 30.10; 1:03.69 (33.59); 1:39.16 (35.47); 2:13.33 (34.17); 2:50.78 (37.45); 3:28.65 (37.87); 3:59.66 (31.01); 4:31.12 (31.46)

Rice: 29.05; 1:02.30 (33.25); 1:36.97 (34.67); 2:10.87 (33.90); 2:49.89 (39.02); 3:29.08 (39.19); 4:01.02 (31.96); 4:31.46 (30.44)

These splits foreshadow an interesting chess match that could take place a few weeks from now. With Rice taking the fly and back legs out strong and Hoff with the far superior breaststroke, it should prove to be a very exciting race.

Not to be lost in the mix is the success of 15 year-old Elizabeth Beisel who came second behind Hoff in 3:32.87. Both ladies were under the old Trials record set by Hoff four years ago, who was also 15 at the time. Hoff would go on and say nerves played a part in Athens when she failed to live up to expectations. We will see how Beisel handles her young self on the biggest stage very soon.