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Britta Steffen

Sport:  Swimming
Country:  Germany

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Biography

In 1999 Steffen won six titles at the European junior championships, and won a medal as a member of Germany's freestyle relay team at the Summer Olympics 2000. In 2004, she asked to swim the 4100 m relay. But after the Olympics, she took one year off swimming and concentrated on her studies, which were not finished. At the Championships in Budapest on 2 August 2006, Steffen clocked 53.30 in the women's 100 m freestyle event, breaking the world record and upstaging the previous record of 53.42 set by Libby Lenton of Australia. Even though Libby swam a time of 52.99 on 4 April 2007 during the mixed 400 metre freestyle relay, this time was not recognized by the FINA as world record, because the race is not considered to be a FINA event. At the same championships, Steffen was part of two world record-breaking relay teams. First, the German 4100 m women's relay team of Dallmann, Goetz, Steffen and Liebs took the Australian 4100 m freestyle relay (Mills, Lenton, Thomas and Henry) world record of 3:35.94, clocking a time of 3:35.22. The German women's relay team of Dallman, Samulski, Steffen and Liebs, then swam a time of 7:50.82 to take the previous US 4200 m freestyle relay (Coughlin, Piper, Vollmer and Sandeno) world record that stood at 7:53.42. She had recently participated in the FINA World Championships in Melbourne where she finished third in the 100 metre freestyle event and second in the 4200 metre freestyle relay. During the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Steffen won the 100-meter freestyle, catching world record-holder Libby Trickett of Australia at the last stroke. Steffen touched in 53.12 seconds, bettering her own Olympic record of 53.38 set on the leadoff leg of the 4100 m freestyle relay. Steffen then edged out Dara Torres to win the 50-meter freestyle gold with a time of 24.06 seconds, winning by 0.01 seconds. At the World Championships in Rome on 31 July 2009, Steffen clocked 52.07 in the women's 100 m freestyle event, breaking the world record and upstaging the previous record of 52.22 set by herself four days before.[4]. Two days later on 2 August 2009, Steffen won her second title in the women's 50 m freestyle event, breaking the world record with a time of 23.73 seconds.[5]

Women Athletes for Swimming