| Event type

200 metres Backstroke, Women

Date19 – 20 August 2004
LocationOlympiako Kentro Ugrou Stivou, Olympiako Athletiko Kentro Athinon Spiros Loues, Athina (Main Pool)
Participants34 from 27 countries

The longer of the two backstroke events did not have a clear favourite in Athens. Russia’s Stanislava Komarova was generally accepted to be the most talented in the race for gold but could be frustratingly inconsistent at the highest level. The 2003 World Champion and world leader for 2004 was Katy Sexton but the British team of which she was a part had endured a poor time at the Games.

Few would have considered Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry a medal favourite before the Games began but the American-based swimmer had already won a silver and a bronze and this event was potentially a stronger one for her. Coventry took the lead from the first few strokes and left Komarova trailing in her wake to claim Zimbabwe’s first individual Olympic gold and the first by any African swimmer from outside South Africa. Komarova held on for silver with Reiko Nakamura of Japan and Germany’s Antje Buschschulte finishing in a dead heat for third.

Coventry’s win came at the time when racial tensions in Zimbabwe were at a peak and, for a short time at least, brought the troubled country some measure of joy.

1Kirsty CoventryZIM2:12.49 (2 h3)2:10.04 (2 h2)2:09.19 (1)Gold
2Stanislava KomarovaRUS2:10.71 (1 h4)2:09.62 (1 h2)2:09.72 (2)Silver
=3Reiko NakamuraJPN2:11.14 (1 h3)2:10.14 (1 h1)2:09.88 (=3)Bronze
=3Antje BuschschulteGER2:12.96 (2 h4)2:10.66 (3 h2)2:09.88 (=3)Bronze
5Margaret HoelzerUSA2:12.55 (1 h5)2:11.68 (2 h1)2:10.70 (5)
6Louise ØrnstedtDEN2:13.05 (3 h5)2:11.77 (4 h2)2:11.15 (6)
7Katy SextonGBR2:13.25 (3 h3)2:12.62 (4 h1)2:12.11 (7)
8Aya TerakawaJPN2:13.55 (4 h4)2:12.21 (3 h1)2:12.90 (8)
9Jennifer FratesiCAN2:13.00 (2 h5)2:12.64 (5 h1)
10Hannah McLeanNZL2:13.33 (3 h4)2:12.87 (5 h2)
11Nicole HetzerGER2:14.42 (4 h5)2:13.01 (6 h2)
12Melissa MorganAUS2:14.06 (4 h3)2:13.34 (7 h2)
13Sanja JovanovićCRO2:15.01 (5 h4)2:13.76 (6 h1)
14Evelyn VerrasztóHUN2:14.07 (1 h2)2:13.98 (7 h1)
15Iryna AmshennikovaUKR2:14.49 (5 h5)2:14.83 (8 h1)
16Fran AdcockAUS2:14.85 (6 h5)2:15.69 (8 h2)
17Kristen CaverlyUSA2:15.34 (6 h4)
18Elizabeth WardenCAN2:15.77 (5 h3)
19Kateřina PivoňkováCZE2:16.08 (2 h2)
20Karen LeeGBR2:16.10 (7 h4)
=21Alessia FilippiITA2:17.29 (6 h3)
=21Şadan Derya ErkeTUR2:17.29 (3 h2)
23Anja ČarmanSLO2:17.62 (7 h5)
24Lin Man-HsuTPE2:17.68 (4 h2)
25Lee Da-HyeKOR2:17.73 (5 h2)
26Gisela MoralesGUA2:18.23 (6 h2)
27Alexandra PutraFRA2:19.75 (8 h5)
28Sherry TsaiHKG2:19.83 (1 h1)
29Chonlathorn VorathamrongTHA2:21.11 (7 h2)
30Eirini KarastergiouGRE2:21.93 (8 h2)
31Gretchen GotayPUR2:23.39 (2 h1)
32Saida IskandarovaUZB2:26.17 (3 h1)
33Zhan ShuCHN2:31.56 (7 h3)
DQChen XiujunCHN– (DQ h3)
DNSAlenka KejžarSLO– (DNS h4)

Round One (19 August 2004)

Fastest 16 advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One (11:33)

14Sherry TsaiHKG2:19.830.64
25Gretchen GotayPUR2:23.390.68
33Saida IskandarovaUZB2:26.170.72

Heat Two (11:37)

12Evelyn VerrasztóHUN2:14.070.85Q
26Kateřina PivoňkováCZE2:16.080.81
37Şadan Derya ErkeTUR2:17.290.63
41Lin Man-HsuTPE2:17.680.69
55Lee Da-HyeKOR2:17.730.65
63Gisela MoralesGUA2:18.230.71
78Chonlathorn VorathamrongTHA2:21.110.66
84Eirini KarastergiouGRE2:21.930.61

Heat Three (11:41)

14Reiko NakamuraJPN2:11.140.67Q
21Kirsty CoventryZIM2:12.490.69Q
35Katy SextonGBR2:13.250.75Q
42Melissa MorganAUS2:14.060.70Q
57Elizabeth WardenCAN2:15.770.64
68Alessia FilippiITA2:17.290.73
73Zhan ShuCHN2:31.560.66
DQ6Chen XiujunCHN[0.60]

Heat Four (11:45)

14Stanislava KomarovaRUS2:10.710.75Q
26Antje BuschschulteGER2:12.960.68Q
31Hannah McLeanNZL2:13.330.65Q
45Aya TerakawaJPN2:13.550.62Q
58Sanja JovanovićCRO2:15.010.70Q
62Kristen CaverlyUSA2:15.340.70
73Karen LeeGBR2:16.100.67
DNS7Alenka KejžarSLO

Heat Five (11:49)

14Margaret HoelzerUSA2:12.550.65Q
22Jennifer FratesiCAN2:13.000.79Q
33Louise ØrnstedtDEN2:13.050.72Q
46Nicole HetzerGER2:14.420.73Q
55Iryna AmshennikovaUKR2:14.490.68Q
61Fran AdcockAUS2:14.850.57Q
77Anja ČarmanSLO2:17.620.76
88Alexandra PutraFRA2:19.750.65

Semi-Finals (19 August 2004)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One (19:55)

14Reiko NakamuraJPN2:10.140.68Q
25Margaret HoelzerUSA2:11.680.72Q
32Aya TerakawaJPN2:12.210.61Q
46Katy SextonGBR2:12.620.75Q
53Jennifer FratesiCAN2:12.640.72
68Sanja JovanovićCRO2:13.760.70
77Evelyn VerrasztóHUN2:13.980.77
81Iryna AmshennikovaUKR2:14.830.68

Heat Two (20:01)

14Stanislava KomarovaRUS2:09.620.78Q
25Kirsty CoventryZIM2:10.040.76Q
33Antje BuschschulteGER2:10.660.65Q
46Louise ØrnstedtDEN2:11.770.73Q
52Hannah McLeanNZL2:12.870.67
61Nicole HetzerGER2:13.010.75
77Melissa MorganAUS2:13.340.70
88Fran AdcockAUS2:15.690.66

Final (20 August 2004 — 19:30)

15Kirsty CoventryZIM2:09.190.72
24Stanislava KomarovaRUS2:09.720.81
=33Reiko NakamuraJPN2:09.880.62
=36Antje BuschschulteGER2:09.880.62
52Margaret HoelzerUSA2:10.700.69
67Louise ØrnstedtDEN2:11.150.71
78Katy SextonGBR2:12.110.76
81Aya TerakawaJPN2:12.900.61