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Katie Hoff third in Beijing swimming

August 9, 2008 |  8:40 pm

Stephanie Rice of Australia is congratulated by opponent Katie Hoff after breaking Hoff's world record to swim to gold in the womens 400M individual medley finals.

BEIJING -- Katie Hoff, like Michael Phelps, is from Baltimore. Also like Phelps, she was expected to challenge a formidable record here, trying to become only the second woman swimmer to win six gold medals in a single Olympics. And, like Phelps, she was starting off Sunday in an event, the 400-meter individual medley, in which she holds the world record.

Held the world record.

Hoff, unlike Phelps, didn't get off to the start she wanted, finishing third in the event. She also lost her record to the gold medalist, Australia's Stephanie Rice, who finished in 4:29.45. Hoff was far back in 4:31.71. Her previous record was 4:31.12.

So it appears as if East Germany's Kristin Otto will remain the only woman swimmer to win six gold medals in a single Olympics. She did it in 1988. Several years later, it was revealed after East German secret police documents were declassified that she had been on a steady diet of banned drugs sanctioned by the government.

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: Stephanie Rice of Australia, right, is congratulated by opponent Katie Hoff after breaking Hoff's world record to swim to gold in the women's 400M individual medley finals. Credit: Kay Nietfeld /EPA

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