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
As the clear winner of both backstroke events at the 2003 World Championships, [Aaron Peirsol] was an obvious favourite to match this feat at the Athens Olympics and nothing happened in either heat or semi-final to discourage the opinion that the American would be Olympic champion. Peirsol trailed early leader [Matt Welsh] at the halfway point then took the race apart on the final length, winning comfortably ahead of [Markus Rogan] of Austria with Japanâs [Tomomi Morita] touching ahead of defending champion, [Lenny Krayzelburg], by a mere two hundredths of a second.
Peirsolâs victory was the 12th win by an American in this event but, in contrast, Roganâs medal the first by Austrian for 92 years. Piersol would return in 2008 to become the first man to successfully defend his Olympic title since [Roland Matthes] in 1972.