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Swimming at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Backstroke

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 13, 2008
Date Finished: August 15, 2008

Gold: USA Ryan Lochte
Silver: USA Aaron Peirsol
Bronze: RUS Arkady Vyachanin

Summary

Aaron Peirsol won the 100 and 200 backstroke titles at the 2004 Olympic Games and at both the 2003 and 2005 World Championships. However by 2007 his team-mate Ryan Lochte had emerged from his long apprenticeship in the shadow of Peirsol and Michael Phelps to post a serious threat to Peirsol’s dominance of the event. The two men fought out a classic duel at the 2007 World Championship which ended with Lochte taking both Piersol’s world title and also his world record.

By the time of the US Olympic trials the roles were reversed and it was Peirsol’s turn for victory and to regain his world mark. It was no surprise then that few could see any other outcome than that the pair would reprise their rivalry at the Beijing Olympics. In the Olympic final Arkady Vyachanin of Russia threatened to throw a spanner in the works by blasting out into the lead but he faded in the home stretch leaving the two Americans to race to the wall. It was Peirsol who held the lead at the final turn but it was Lochte who had the strength to surge to the win. Lochte took nearly four-tenths of a second off the world record with Peirsol in a clear second and Vyachanin holding on to third place despite tiring badly. Vyachanin had only qualified for the final after a tie for the last qualifying place in the semi-final had necessitated a swim-off.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Ryan Lochte 24 United States USA Gold WR
2 Aaron Peirsol 25 United States USA Silver
3 Arkady Vyachanin 24 Russia RUS Bronze
4 Markus Rogan 26 Austria AUT
5 Ryosuke Irie 18 Japan JPN
6 Hayden Stoeckel 23 Australia AUS
7 Răzvan Florea 27 Romania ROU
8 Gregor Tait 29 Great Britain GBR
9 Helge Meeuw 23 Germany GER
10 Ash Delaney 22 Australia AUS
11 Damiano Lestingi 19 Italy ITA
12 Keith Beavers 25 Canada CAN
13 George du Rand 25 South Africa RSA
14 Gordan Kožulj 31 Croatia CRO
15 Tobias Oriwol 23 Canada CAN
16 Stanislav Donets 25 Russia RUS
17 Pierre Roger 24 France FRA
18 Omar Pinzón 19 Colombia COL
19T Sebastian Stoss 22 Austria AUT
19T Roland Rudolf 23 Hungary HUN
21 Takashi Nakano 24 Japan JPN
22 Derya Büyükuncu 32 Turkey TUR
23 Lucas Salatta 21 Brazil BRA
24 Nick Driebergen 20 Netherlands NED
25 Mattia Aversa 22 Italy ITA
26 Kim Ji-Hyeon 18 South Korea KOR
27 Itai Chammah 22 Israel ISR
28 Pedro Oliveira 20 Portugal POR
29 Brett Fraser 18 Cayman Islands CAY
30 Pedro Medel 16 Cuba CUB
31 Gábor Balog 17 Hungary HUN
32 Jonathan Massacand 24 Switzerland SUI
33 Oleg Rabota 18 Kazakhstan KAZ
34 Simon Dufour 29 France FRA
35 Dimitrios Chasiotis 22 Greece GRE
36 Květoslav Svoboda 25 Czech Republic CZE
37 Deng Jian 18 China CHN
38 Sergey Pankov 19 Uzbekistan UZB
39 Oleksandr Isakov 18 Ukraine UKR
40 Andres Olvik 22 Estonia EST