Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 10, 2008
Date Finished: August 12, 2008
Since winning a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics as a fifteen year old, [Leisel Jones] of Australia had clearly been the dominant force in this event. Despite this doubts still remained about her ability to cope with the big occasion as she been favourite for both the 2003 World Championships and 2004 Olympics but had been defeated on both occasions. She had rebounded by winning both 100 and 200 metre world breaststroke titles in 2005 and 2007 but the Beijing Olympics would be the acid test on her capabilities of dealing with pressure. Starting with an Olympic record in the heats Jones found redemption for her performance in the Athens Games by being a class above her opposition in each of the her three races. The biggest surprise was that she failed to challenge her own world record.
Finishing second behind Jones was American [Rebecca Soni]. Although had qualified for the US team at 200 metres breaststroke she had originally missed a place at the 100 after finishing 4th at the US trials. She inherited her place after [Jessica Hardy] was withdrawn following a doping irregularity but only because the qualifying rules would not allow alternate [Tara Kirk] to be called into the Olympic team. [Mirna Jukic]'s bronze was the first by a Austrian woman in an individual swimming event.