| Event type

200 metres Backstroke, Men

Date13 – 15 August 2008
LocationBeijing Guojia Youyong Zhongxin, Beijing Aolinpike Gongyuan, Beijing
Participants40 from 31 countries
Olympic Record 1:54.95 / Aaron Peirsol USA / 19 August 2004

Aaron Peirsol won the 100 and 200 backstroke titles at the 2004 Olympic Games and at both the 2003 and 2005 World Championships. However by 2007 his team-mate Ryan Lochte had emerged from his long apprenticeship in the shadow of Peirsol and Michael Phelps to post a serious threat to Peirsol’s dominance of the event. The two men fought out a classic duel at the 2007 World Championship which ended with Lochte taking both Piersol’s world title and also his world record.

By the time of the US Olympic trials the roles were reversed and it was Peirsol’s turn for victory and to regain his world mark. It was no surprise then that few could see any other outcome than that the pair would reprise their rivalry at the Beijing Olympics. In the Olympic final Arkady Vyachanin of Russia threatened to throw a spanner in the works by blasting out into the lead but he faded in the home stretch leaving the two Americans to race to the wall. It was Peirsol who held the lead at the final turn but it was Lochte who had the strength to surge to the win. Lochte took nearly four-tenths of a second off the world record with Peirsol in a clear second and Vyachanin holding on to third place despite tiring badly. Vyachanin had only qualified for the final after a tie for the last qualifying place in the semi-final had necessitated a swim-off.

1Ryan LochteUSA1:56.29 (1 h6)1:55.40 (1 h2)1:53.94 (1)Gold
2Aaron PeirsolUSA1:56.35 (1 h5)1:55.26 (1 h1)1:54.33 (2)Silver
3Arkady VyachaninRUS1:56.97 (2 h5)1:56.85 (4 h1)1:54.93 (3)Bronze
4Markus RoganAUT1:56.64 (1 h4)1:56.34 (2 h2)1:55.49 (4)
5Ryosuke IrieJPN1:57.68 (3 h5)1:56.35 (3 h2)1:55.72 (5)
6Hayden StoeckelAUS1:57.15 (2 h4)1:56.73 (3 h1)1:56.39 (6)
7Răzvan FloreaROU1:57.97 (3 h4)1:56.45 (2 h1)1:56.52 (7)
8Gregor TaitGBR1:57.03 (2 h6)1:56.72 (4 h2)1:57.00 (8)
9Helge MeeuwGER1:58.42 (4 h5)1:56.85 (5 h2)
10Ash DelaneyAUS1:57.87 (4 h6)1:57.73 (6 h2)
11Damiano LestingiITA1:58.53 (4 h4)1:58.25 (5 h1)
12Keith BeaversCAN1:58.84 (6 h6)1:58.50 (7 h2)
13George du RandRSA1:58.62 (1 h3)1:58.61 (8 h2)
14Gordan KožuljCRO1:57.81 (3 h6)1:59.22 (6 h1)
15Tobias OriwolCAN1:58.94 (2 h3)1:59.50 (7 h1)
16Stanislav DonetsRUS1:58.68 (5 h6)1:59.87 (8 h1)
17Pierre RogerFRA1:59.01 (5 h5)
18Omar PinzónCOL1:59.11 (3 h3)
=19Sebastian StossAUT1:59.44 (5 h4)
=19Roland RudolfHUN1:59.44 (7 h6)
21Takashi NakanoJPN1:59.59 (6 h4)
22Derya BüyükuncuTUR1:59.86 (4 h3)
23Lucas SalattaBRA1:59.91 (6 h5)
24Nick DriebergenNED2:00.24 (7 h5)
25Mattia AversaITA2:00.25 (8 h5)
26Kim Ji-HyeonKOR2:00.72 (5 h3)
27Itai ChammahISR2:00.93 (1 h2)
28Pedro OliveiraPOR2:01.08 (6 h3)
29Brett FraserCAY2:01.17 (1 h1)
30Pedro MedelCUB2:01.32 (2 h2)
31Gábor BalogHUN2:01.42 (7 h4)
32Jonathan MassacandSUI2:01.80 (7 h3)
33Oleg RabotaKAZ2:01.95 (2 h1)
34Simon DufourFRA2:02.00 (8 h4)
35Dimitrios KhasiotisGRE2:02.30 (8 h3)
36Květoslav SvobodaCZE2:03.12 (3 h2)
37Deng JianCHN2:03.34 (4 h2)
38Sergey PankovUZB2:03.51 (3 h1)
39Oleksandr IsakovUKR2:03.59 (5 h2)
40Andres OlvikEST2:03.66 (6 h2)
DNSAschwin WildeboerESP– (DNS h6)
DNSSimon SjödinSWE– (DNS h2)

Round One (13 August 2008)

Fastest 16 swimmers advanced to semi-finals

Heat One (18:54)

14Brett FraserCAY2:01.170.64
25Oleg RabotaKAZ2:01.950.70
33Sergey PankovUZB2:03.510.73

Heat Two (18:58)

15Itai ChammahISR2:00.930.69
21Pedro MedelCUB2:01.320.74
32Květoslav SvobodaCZE2:03.120.66
44Deng JianCHN2:03.340.51
56Oleksandr IsakovUKR2:03.590.68
63Andres OlvikEST2:03.660.70
DNS7Simon SjödinSWE

Heat Three (19:02)

17George du RandRSA1:58.620.77Q
24Tobias OriwolCAN1:58.940.75Q
31Omar PinzónCOL1:59.110.55
46Derya BüyükuncuTUR1:59.860.63
58Kim Ji-HyeonKOR2:00.720.63
62Pedro OliveiraPOR2:01.080.68
73Jonathan MassacandSUI2:01.800.72
85Dimitrios KhasiotisGRE2:02.300.70

Heat Four (19:06)

14Markus RoganAUT1:56.640.72Q
25Hayden StoeckelAUS1:57.150.62Q
33Răzvan FloreaROU1:57.970.67Q
42Damiano LestingiITA1:58.530.65Q
51Sebastian StossAUT1:59.440.71
66Takashi NakanoJPN1:59.590.59
77Gábor BalogHUN2:01.420.70
88Simon DufourFRA2:02.000.64

Heat Five (19:10)

14Aaron PeirsolUSA1:56.350.75Q
25Arkady VyachaninRUS1:56.970.79Q
33Ryosuke IrieJPN1:57.680.55Q
46Helge MeeuwGER1:58.420.71Q
52Pierre RogerFRA1:59.010.68
68Lucas SalattaBRA1:59.910.63
71Nick DriebergenNED2:00.240.69
87Mattia AversaITA2:00.250.61

Heat Six (19:14)

14Ryan LochteUSA1:56.290.71Q
25Gregor TaitGBR1:57.030.76Q
37Gordan KožuljCRO1:57.810.58Q
43Ash DelaneyAUS1:57.870.55Q
56Stanislav DonetsRUS1:58.680.75Q
68Keith BeaversCAN1:58.840.70Q
71Roland RudolfHUN1:59.440.62
DNS2Aschwin WildeboerESP

Semi-Finals (14 August 2008)

Fastest eight swimmers advanced to final

Heat One (10:21)

14Aaron PeirsolUSA1:55.260.68Q
22Răzvan FloreaROU1:56.450.66Q
33Hayden StoeckelAUS1:56.730.64Q
45Arkady VyachaninRUS1:56.850.80Q
57Damiano LestingiITA1:58.250.65
66Gordan KožuljCRO1:59.220.63
78Tobias OriwolCAN1:59.500.74
81Stanislav DonetsRUS1:59.870.77

Heat Two (10:27)

14Ryan LochteUSA1:55.400.67Q
25Markus RoganAUT1:56.340.74Q
36Ryosuke IrieJPN1:56.350.52Q
43Gregor TaitGBR1:56.720.67Q
57Helge MeeuwGER1:56.850.71
62Ash DelaneyAUS1:57.730.49
78Keith BeaversCAN1:58.500.62
81George du RandRSA1:58.610.74

Swim-Off (12:11)

14Arkady VyachaninRUS1:57.750.85Q
25Helge MeeuwGER2:00.970.73

Final (15 August 2008 — 10:19)

15Ryan LochteUSA1:53.940.70WR
24Aaron PeirsolUSA1:54.330.65
38Arkady VyachaninRUS1:54.930.79
43Markus RoganAUT1:55.490.72
56Ryosuke IrieJPN1:55.720.50
61Hayden StoeckelAUS1:56.390.63
72Răzvan FloreaROU1:56.520.66
87Gregor TaitGBR1:57.000.68