Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 10, 2008
Date Finished: August 12, 2008
|Bronze:|| Arkady Vyachanin
[Aaron Peirsol], the 2004 Olympic champion had only suffered a handful of defeats in backstroke races since the Sydney Olympics and arrived in Athens having broken the world record at the US trials. Piersol's progress to the final was less flamboyant than some of his rivals which meant he started the final only as the fifth fastest qualifier. At the fifty-metre mark he appeared out of the title reckoning as he trailed the leaders by half a second but a late race surge took him past his tiring rivals and through to the gold medal with a big margin of 0.57 seconds. The clock stopped at a new world record mark of 52.54 seconds. Behind him finished fellow American [Matt Grevers] and, in a tie for third, [Hayden Stoeckel] of Australia and [Arkady Vyachanin] of Russia.