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Swimming at the 2004 Athina Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 15, 2004
Date Finished: August 16, 2004

Gold: AUS Ian Thorpe
Silver: NED Pieter van den Hoogenband
Bronze: USA Michael Phelps


The 200 metres freestyle promised to be one of the most eagerly awaited events, not just of the swimming programme, but of the entire Athens Olympic programme and had gathered interest even from those with only a passing interest in the sport. The field for the race that had been billed as the swimming’s “Race of the Century” long in advance of the Games included some of the most recognisable names in modern swimming history. Reigning champion [Pieter van den Hoogenband] of the Netherlands was joined by newly crowned 400 m freestyle champion [Ian Thorpe] of Australia and two multiple World Champions in the shape of [Michael Phelps] and [Grant Hackett]. Such was the quality of the eight finalists that they would go to win a combined career total of 31 Olympic and 49 World Championship titles between them.

Thorpe and van den Hoogenband had been rivals since before the Sydney Olympics whilst Phelps had established himself as a world star by dominating the 2003 World Championship although he had not contested this event at those championships.

Van den Hoogenband had upset Thorpe in front of an enthusiastic Australian crowd in 2000 and seemed to treat the early stages of the final as an extension of the race as he set a blistering sub world record pace to the 150 metre mark. This time though the Dutchman had misjudged his pacing and he faded towards the end. Thorpe’s 400 metre stamina brought him through to extract revenge for the defeat in Sydney whilst van den Hoogenband just had enough left to hold off Phelps for silver.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Ian Thorpe 21 Australia AUS Gold OR
2 Pieter van den Hoogenband 26 Netherlands NED Silver
3 Michael Phelps 19 United States USA Bronze
4 Klete Keller 22 United States USA
5 Grant Hackett 24 Australia AUS
6 Rick Say 25 Canada CAN
7 Simon Burnett 21 Great Britain GBR
8 Emiliano Brembilla 25 Italy ITA
9 Květoslav Svoboda 21 Czech Republic CZE
10 Yoshihiro Okumura 21 Japan JPN
11 George Bovell 21 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
12 Andreas Zisimos 20 Greece GRE
13 Brent Hayden 20 Canada CAN
14 Dominik Meichtry 19 Switzerland SUI
15 Olaf Wildeboer 21 Spain ESP
16 Andrey Kapralov 23 Russia RUS
17 Jens Schreiber 21 Germany GER QU
18 Jacob Carstensen 25 Denmark DEN
19 Stefan Herbst 26 Germany GER
20 Rodrigo Castro 25 Brazil BRA
21 Saulius Binevičius 25 Lithuania LTU
22 Peter Mankoč 26 Slovenia SLO
23 Romāns Miloslavskis 20 Latvia LAT
24 Maksim Kuznetsov 22 Russia RUS
25 Nicolas Rostoucher 23 France FRA
26 Dominik Koll 19 Austria AUT
27 Dmytro Vereitynov 21 Ukraine UKR
28 Josh Ilika 27 Mexico MEX
29 Luís Monteiro 21 Portugal POR
30 Łukasz Drzewiński 20 Poland POL
31 Mikhail Aleksandrov 19 Bulgaria BUL
32 Tamás Szűcs 23 Hungary HUN
33 Han Gyu-Cheol 22 South Korea KOR
34 Damian Alleyne 21 Barbados BAR
35T Mahrez Mebarek 19 Algeria ALG
35T Aleksandar Malenko 25 Macedonia MKD
37 Yegor Salobutov 20 Belarus BLR
38 Albert Subirats 17 Venezuela VEN
39 Giancarlo Zolezzi 22 Chile CHI
40T Juan Martín Pereyra 24 Argentina ARG
40T Shaune Fraser 16 Cayman Islands CAY
42 Miguel Molina 20 Philippines PHI
43 Zhang Lin 17 China CHN
44 Alexandros Aresti 21 Cyprus CYP
45 Martín Kutscher 19 Uruguay URU
46 Andrea Beccari 26 Italy ITA
47 Chen Te-Tung 18 Chinese Taipei TPE
48 Igor Erhartić 20 Serbia and Montenegro SCG
49 Ştefan Pinciuc 19 Moldova MDA
50 Anouar Ben Naceur 20 Tunisia TUN
51 Mark Chay 22 Singapore SIN
52 Aytekin Mindan 22 Turkey TUR
53 Adil Bellaz 23 Morocco MAR
54 Mario Delač 19 Croatia CRO
55 Vitaly Khan 18 Kazakhstan KAZ
56 Diego Mularoni 24 San Marino SMR
57 Pyotr Vasilyev 23 Uzbekistan UZB
58 Zurab Khomasuridze 24 Georgia GEO
59 Ruslan Ismailov 14 Kyrgyzstan KGZ