Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 14, 2004
Date Finished: August 14, 2004
As an 18-year-old, Ukraine's [Yana Klochkova] won both medley races at the Sydney Olympics. By the time of the Athens Games she had been long established as the best medley swimmer in the world but a new generation, led by 15-year-old [Katie Hoff], were beginning to nip at her heels. Hoff came to Athens as world leader for 2004 but failed to live up to her previous form as she finished 10 seconds off her best in her heat and well outside the qualifying positions.
Instead the challenge to Klochkova came from another American in the form of [Kaitlin Sandeno]. Sandeno had never broken 3:40.00 before Athens but, in the rarefied atmosphere of the Olympic final, she had the race of the life and took more than five seconds off her personal best to hound Klochkova almost into the final metres of the race. The Ukrainian held out to win over Sandeno by just 12 hundredths of a second with [Georgina Bardach] winning a rare swimming medal for Argentina, their first since 1936, in third.