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Swimming at the 2004 Athina Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Backstroke

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 18, 2004
Date Finished: August 19, 2004

Gold: USA Aaron Peirsol
Silver: AUT Markus Rogan
Bronze: ROU Răzvan Florea

Summary

Aaron Peirsol of the USA had already won the 100 metres backstroke so was heavily favoured to repeat this success over this, his better event. It became clear at the semi-final stage, where Peirsol was two seconds faster than any of his rivals, that the rest of the field would merely be fighting for the silver and bronze medal. As expected the American proceeded to blitz the field and won by the almost unbelievable margin of nearly two and a half seconds. Peirsol was celebrating his victory when suddenly the scoreboard flickered and the letters DQ appeared next to his name to indicate he was disqualified from the final. His offence was to kick into the final turn after he'd turned onto his stomach to make the turn, which is illegal under the rules. For half an hour it appeared that Markus Rogan had become the first Austrian Olympic swimming champion since the inaugural Summer Olympics in 1896 but his joy was short-lived. FINA announced that the disqualification could not stand because the official judging the turns had made an error in the paperwork and had failed to describe the nature of the infringement in either French or English on the relevant document. This was a serious breach of the regulations. Appeals from both Austria and Great Britain were rejected.

Piersol returned for a third Olympic Games in 2008 but was narrowly beaten by his fellow American Ryan Lochte. His 2008 silver added to that won in 2000 meant that he became one of the rare few swimmers to have medalled in the same event at three successive Games.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Aaron Peirsol 21 United States USA Gold OR
2 Markus Rogan 22 Austria AUT Silver
3 Răzvan Florea 23 Romania ROU Bronze
4 James Goddard 21 Great Britain GBR
5 Tomomi Morita 19 Japan JPN
6 Simon Dufour 25 France FRA
7 Gregor Tait 25 Great Britain GBR
8 Blaž Medvešek 24 Slovenia SLO
9 Gordan Kožulj 27 Croatia CRO
10 Bryce Hunt 22 United States USA
11 Arkady Vyachanin 20 Russia RUS
12 Keith Beavers 21 Canada CAN
13 Jorge Sánchez 27 Spain ESP
14 Nathaniel O'Brien 21 Canada CAN
15 Rogério Romero 34 Brazil BRA
16 Emanuele Merisi 31 Italy ITA
17 Yevgeny Alyoshin 25 Russia RUS
18 Patrick Murphy 20 Australia AUS
19 Matt Welsh 27 Australia AUS
20 Cam Gibson 21 New Zealand NZL
21 Alex Lim 23 Malaysia MAS
22 Derya Büyükuncu 28 Turkey TUR
23 Nicky Neckles 25 Barbados BAR
24 Viktor Bodrogi 20 Hungary HUN
25 Volodymyr Nikolaichuk 29 Ukraine UKR
26 Pavel Suškov 22 Lithuania LTU
27 Adam Mania 20 Poland POL
28 Antonios Gioulbas 18 Greece GRE
29 Aschwin Wildeboer 18 Spain ESP
30 Yu Rui 22 China CHN
31 Ahmed Hussain 21 Egypt EGY
32 Seong Min 21 South Korea KOR
33 Matti Mäki 22 Finland FIN
34 Andrei Mihailov 23 Moldova MDA
35 Omar Pinzón 15 Colombia COL
36 Yury Zakharov 18 Kyrgyzstan KGZ