Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Sydney International Aquatic Centre, Olympic Park, Sydney, New South Wales
Date Started: September 17, 2000
Date Finished: September 17, 2000
The Olympic champion from 1996, [Michelle Smith], could not defend her Olympic title after being given a two-year ban for tampering with her urine sample. [Chen Yan], the woman who had won the world title in 1998, was present in Sydney but she decided to concentrate on the individual medley races and passed on this event.
The mantle of favoritism then passed to American [Brooke Bennett], the woman who had won the 800 metres title in Atlanta. Bennett gave a performance in the final that lived up to the pre-Games hype and led from start to finish in a time that only two women had ever bettered, defending her gold medal. Costa Ricaâs [Claudia Poll] spent most of the race in the silver medal position but was overtaken near the end by [Diana Munz]. Munzâs preparations for the Olympics were hampered by the after effects of a car accident in which she broke her vertebrae