Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 12, 2008
Date Finished: August 14, 2008
The 200 metres butterfly was host to the biggest shock of the swimming programme of the Beijing Olympic Games which, since it was the only home victory in the pool, was also the most popular win of the entire schedule. As in the 100 metres butterfly the favourite was an Australian, in this case the world champion and world record holder [Jess Schipper]. Her main rivals appeared to be former world champion [Otylia JÄdrzejczak] of Poland and the home favourite, [Jiao Liuyang].
The other Chinese swimmer, [Liu Zige], was a relative unknown having missed the 2007 World Championship after having made little impression in 2005. However Liu had a secret weapon â the training plan that Schipper had used to make her mark in the event. To the consternation of the Australian swimming authorities Schipper's coach, Ken Wood, had sold the document to the coaches of the Chinese swimmer. It was a move that led to Schipper dropping Wood as her coach following the Olympics.
Liu broke her personal best time in heat and semi-final and then broke Schipper's record by posting a time of 2:04.18 to win the gold medal ahead of compatriot Jiao with the Australian, who had led to the 150 metre mark, fading badly but still holding onto third.