The record stood for 17 years, a despised symbol of a cold-hearted regime that systematically drugged its athletes in the pursuit of Olympic glory. Finally, it’s been knocked off the books. The American women completed a sweep of the 800-meter freestyle relay with a dominating performance at the Olympic pool Wednesday night, taking down the oldest — and most tarnished — world record in swimming. And curlyhead Kaitlin Sandeno swam the final leg and cruised to the wall in a time of 7 minutes, 53.42 seconds, easily beating the mark of 7:55.47 set exactly 17 years earlier by East Germany.

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