Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 17, 2004
Date Finished: August 18, 2004
The events of the 100 metres butterfly, held earlier in the week, further defined the hierarchy in this event. That final had been decided between [Petria Thomas] of Australia and [Otylia JÄdrzejczak] of Poland, the women who had won the 2001 and 2003 200 metres world titles, respectively.
Reality stuck perfectly to the script and Thomas took out the pace in the final with split times that put her on track to break the world record. In contrast JÄdrzejczak held back before attacking off the last turn. The Pole caught the Australia but could not break away and the two women fought out a close finish which went to JÄdrzejczak on the final stroke.
This was the first, and through 2012 only, Olympic title won by Poland in the swimming pool.