Federica Pellegrini (ITA) learned her lesson well. Having made the mistake of making a slow start in the 400m free final and paying the price, she attacked the 200m free final as though she were the advertising face of Vesuvius. Out in 55.92, 1.12sec inside world-record pace, Pellegrini kept up the pressure on the third length as Sara Isakovic (SLO), Katie Hoff (USA) and Jiaying Pang (CHN) made their move. Out of the turn, the Italian sensed that Isakovic was coming back at her big time. But determination made her dig deeper. The result, a world record of 1:54.82 for a woman who goes down in history as the first from Italy to win an Olympic swimming crown. Isakovic took silver on 1:54.97 and Pang taking bronze in 1:55.02. What a fabulous race. Hoff was locked out ion 1:55.78.
Amazing times we're living in. Isakovic, 20, had a best time of 1:58.19 at the turn of the year and Pang was on a 1:58.34.