Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 13, 2008
Date Finished: August 15, 2008
As world champion and world record holder [Leisel Jones] of Australia was already a hot favourite for the gold medal at 200 metres breaststroke. Her impressive victory in the 100 three days earlier seem to put the matter beyond doubt. [Rebecca Soni]'s performance in the heats, where she set an Olympic record may, have a good impression but few thought the American could challenge Jones for the title. The Australian went into an early lead but Soni was always at her shoulder and at 150 metres she surged into the lead. Over the final length of the pool Soni put over three quarters of a second between her and Jones and touched the wall in a new world record time of 2:20.22.
Another surprise was the identity of the bronze medal winner. [Sara Nordenstam] broke the European record and became the first Norwegian woman to win an Olympic swimming medal.