| Event type

200 metres Backstroke, Men

Date18 – 19 August 2004
LocationOlympiako Kentro Ugrou Stivou, Olympiako Athletiko Kentro Athinon Spiros Loues, Athina (Main Pool)
Participants36 from 30 countries

Aaron Peirsol of the USA had already won the 100 metres backstroke so was heavily favoured to repeat this success over this, his better event. It became clear at the semi-final stage, where Peirsol was two seconds faster than any of his rivals, that the rest of the field would merely be fighting for the silver and bronze medal. As expected the American proceeded to blitz the field and won by the almost unbelievable margin of nearly two and a half seconds. Peirsol was celebrating his victory when suddenly the scoreboard flickered and the letters DQ appeared next to his name to indicate he was disqualified from the final. His offence was to kick into the final turn after he’d turned onto his stomach to make the turn, which is illegal under the rules. For half an hour it appeared that Markus Rogan had become the first Austrian Olympic swimming champion since the inaugural Summer Olympics in 1896 but his joy was short-lived. FINA announced that the disqualification could not stand because the official judging the turns had made an error in the paperwork and had failed to describe the nature of the infringement in either French or English on the relevant document. This was a serious breach of the regulations. Appeals from both Austria and Great Britain were rejected.

Piersol returned for a third Olympic Games in 2008 but was narrowly beaten by his fellow American Ryan Lochte. His 2008 silver added to that won in 2000 meant that he became one of the rare few swimmers to have medalled in the same event at three successive Games.

1Aaron PeirsolUSA1:57.33 (1 h5)1:55.14 (1 h2)1:54.95 (1)Gold
2Markus RoganAUT1:58.06 (2 h5)1:57.50 (2 h2)1:57.35 (2)Silver
3Răzvan FloreaROU1:58.81 (3 h5)1:58.20 (2 h1)1:57.56 (3)Bronze
4James GoddardGBR1:57.96 (1 h4)1:57.25 (1 h1)1:57.76 (4)
5Tomomi MoritaJPN2:01.19 (4 h3)1:59.52 (4 h1)1:58.40 (5)
6Simon DufourFRA1:59.52 (4 h5)1:58.96 (3 h1)1:58.49 (6)
7Gregor TaitGBR1:59.35 (2 h4)1:58.75 (3 h2)1:59.28 (7)
8Blaž MedvešekSLO2:01.13 (5 h4)1:59.37 (4 h2)2:00.06 (8)
9Gordan KožuljCRO2:00.94 (2 h3)1:59.61 (5 h1)
10Bryce HuntUSA1:59.82 (3 h4)1:59.74 (5 h2)
11Arkady VyatchaninRUS2:01.09 (3 h3)1:59.80 (6 h1)
12Keith BeaversCAN2:00.97 (4 h4)1:59.98 (6 h2)
13Jorge SánchezESP2:00.10 (=5 h5)2:00.12 (7 h1)
14Nathaniel O'BrienCAN2:00.49 (1 h3)2:00.13 (8 h1)
15Rogério RomeroBRA2:00.60 (7 h5)2:00.48 (7 h2)
16Emanuele MerisiITA2:00.10 (=5 h5)2:00.83 (8 h2)
17Yevgeny AlyoshinRUS2:01.25 (6 h4)
18Patrick MurphyAUS2:01.26 (5 h3)
19Matt WelshAUS2:01.73 (6 h3)
20Cam GibsonNZL2:02.65 (7 h4)
21Alex LimMAS2:02.67 (1 h2)
22Derya BüyükuncuTUR2:02.69 (2 h2)
23Nicky NecklesBAR2:02.84 (3 h2)
24Viktor BodrogiHUN2:03.16 (8 h4)
25Volodymyr NikolaichukUKR2:03.21 (4 h2)
26Pavel SuškovLTU2:03.54 (5 h2)
27Adam ManiaPOL2:03.73 (6 h2)
28Antonios GioulbasGRE2:04.30 (7 h3)
29Aschwin WildeboerESP2:04.33 (8 h3)
30Yu RuiCHN2:04.51 (8 h5)
31Ahmed HussainEGY2:04.82 (7 h2)
32Seong MinKOR2:04.86 (8 h2)
33Matti MäkiFIN2:06.29 (1 h1)
34Andrei MihailovMDA2:06.97 (2 h1)
35Omar PinzónCOL2:07.26 (3 h1)
36Yury ZakharovKGZ2:10.45 (4 h1)

Round One (18 August 2004)

Fastest 16 advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One (10:23)

15Matti MäkiFIN2:06.290.71
26Andrei MihailovMDA2:06.970.76
32Omar PinzónCOL2:07.260.54
43Yury ZakharovKGZ2:10.450.70

Heat Two (10:27)

15Alex LimMAS2:02.670.62
23Derya BüyükuncuTUR2:02.690.59
37Nicky NecklesBAR2:02.840.65
44Volodymyr NikolaichukUKR2:03.210.74
52Pavel SuškovLTU2:03.540.71
61Adam ManiaPOL2:03.730.56
76Ahmed HussainEGY2:04.820.60
88Seong MinKOR2:04.860.57

Heat Three (10:31)

12Nathaniel O'BrienCAN2:00.490.73Q
24Gordan KožuljCRO2:00.940.76Q
35Arkady VyatchaninRUS2:01.090.87Q
46Tomomi MoritaJPN2:01.190.54Q
51Patrick MurphyAUS2:01.260.76
63Matt WelshAUS2:01.730.70
78Antonios GioulbasGRE2:04.300.70
87Aschwin WildeboerESP2:04.330.72

Heat Four (10:35)

15James GoddardGBR1:57.960.67Q
24Gregor TaitGBR1:59.350.66Q
33Bryce HuntUSA1:59.820.70Q
42Keith BeaversCAN2:00.970.72Q
56Blaž MedvešekSLO2:01.130.74Q
67Yevgeny AlyoshinRUS2:01.250.75
78Cam GibsonNZL2:02.650.78
81Viktor BodrogiHUN2:03.160.66

Heat Five (10:39)

14Aaron PeirsolUSA1:57.330.66Q
25Markus RoganAUT1:58.060.74Q
36Răzvan FloreaROU1:58.810.68Q
43Simon DufourFRA1:59.520.68Q
=52Jorge SánchezESP2:00.100.68Q
=57Emanuele MerisiITA2:00.100.62Q
71Rogério RomeroBRA2:00.600.63Q
88Yu RuiCHN2:04.510.54

Semi-Finals (18 August 2004)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One (19:50)

14James GoddardGBR1:57.250.66Q
25Răzvan FloreaROU1:58.200.62Q
33Simon DufourFRA1:58.960.69Q
48Tomomi MoritaJPN1:59.520.55Q
57Gordan KožuljCRO1:59.610.82
61Arkady VyatchaninRUS1:59.800.87
76Jorge SánchezESP2:00.120.69
82Nathaniel O'BrienCAN2:00.130.75

Heat Two (19:56)

14Aaron PeirsolUSA1:55.140.70QOR
25Markus RoganAUT1:57.500.74Q
33Gregor TaitGBR1:58.750.68Q
48Blaž MedvešekSLO1:59.370.71Q
56Bryce HuntUSA1:59.740.69
61Keith BeaversCAN1:59.980.73
77Rogério RomeroBRA2:00.480.63
82Emanuele MerisiITA2:00.830.66

Final (19 August 2004 — 19:49)

14Aaron PeirsolUSA1:54.950.72OR
23Markus RoganAUT1:57.350.72
36Răzvan FloreaROU1:57.560.65
45James GoddardGBR1:57.760.67
58Tomomi MoritaJPN1:58.400.57
67Simon DufourFRA1:58.490.67
72Gregor TaitGBR1:59.280.68
81Blaž MedvešekSLO2:00.060.77