Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 200 metre freestyle

The men's 200 metre freestyle event at the 2004 Summer Olympics was contested at the Olympic Aquatic Centre of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece. The event took place on 15 and 16 August.

Men's 200 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
VenueAthens Olympic Aquatic Centre
DatesAugust 15, 2004 (heats &
August 16, 2004 (final)
Competitors59 from 55 nations
Winning time1:44.71 OR
Ian Thorpe
Pieter van den Hoogenband
Michael Phelps
 United States

In the lead-up to the final, the event was billed as The Race of the Century or the "greatest swimming race of all-time", due to its significance and high-class field. It featured four of the fastest swimmers in Olympic history: Ian Thorpe (Australia, world record holder in the event at the time), Pieter van den Hoogenband (Netherlands, defending Olympic champion), Grant Hackett (Australia, former world record holder in the event), and Michael Phelps (United States, later became the most decorated all-time Olympian, with a total of 28 medals).

Thorpe edged out Pieter van den Hoogenband in the final 50 metres to claim his second gold at the Games and fifth career medal, following his triumph in the 400 m freestyle two days earlier.[1] With only 50 metres to go, he powered past his arch-rival to touch the wall first in an Olympic record of 1:44.71, matching the third fastest swim over the distance. Van den Hoogenband, who led the field through the first three laps under a world record pace, settled only for the silver in 1:45.23.[2] Meanwhile, Phelps finished the race with a bronze in an American record of 1:45.32, ending his hopes of emulating Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven gold medals.[2][3][4]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record Ian Thorpe (AUS)1:44.06Fukuoka, Japan25 July 2001
Olympic record Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED)1:45.35Sydney, Australia18 September 2000

The following records were established during the competition:

16 AugustFinalIan Thorpe Australia1:44.71OR



184Ian Thorpe Australia1:47.22Q
285Pieter van den Hoogenband Netherlands1:47.32Q
383Emiliano Brembilla Italy1:47.95Q
475Klete Keller United States1:47.97Q
564Michael Phelps United States1:48.43Q
686Simon Burnett Great Britain1:48.68Q
774Grant Hackett Australia1:48.90Q
876Jens Schreiber Germany1:49.00Q, WD
982Květoslav Svoboda Czech Republic1:49.25Q
1065Rick Say Canada1:49.32Q
1181Dominik Meichtry Switzerland1:49.45Q
1277George Bovell Trinidad and Tobago1:49.48Q
1372Yoshihiro Okumura Japan1:49.54Q
1473Brent Hayden Canada1:49.56Q
1578Andreas Zisimos Greece1:49.60Q
1663Andrey Kapralov Russia1:49.91Q
1767Olaf Wildeboer Spain1:50.01Q
1853Jacob Carstensen Denmark1:50.15
1966Stefan Herbst Germany1:50.23
2061Rodrigo Castro Brazil1:50.27
2158Saulius Binevičius Lithuania1:50.50
2287Peter Mankoč Slovenia1:50.72
2354Romāns Miloslavskis Latvia1:50.83
2471Maksim Kuznetsov Russia1:50.93
2588Nicolas Rostoucher France1:50.96
2655Dominik Koll Austria1:51.36
2742Dmytro Vereitinov Ukraine1:51.38
2843Joshua Ilika Brenner Mexico1:51.66
2951Luís Monteiro Portugal1:51.78
3051Łukasz Drzewiński Poland1:51.90
3126Mihail Alexandrov Bulgaria1:52.12
3257Tamás Szűcs Hungary1:52.26
3356Han Kyu-chul South Korea1:52.28
3448Damian Alleyne Barbados1:52.89
3532Aleksandar Malenko Macedonia1:53.00
47Mahrez Mebarek Algeria
3745Yahor Salabutau Belarus1:53.03
3835Albert Subirats Venezuela1:53.11
3946Giancarlo Zolezzi Chile1:53.18
4037Juan Martín Pereyra Argentina1:53.19
38Shaune Fraser Cayman Islands
4241Miguel Molina Philippines1:53.81
4368Zhang Lin China1:53.84
4433Alexandros Aresti Cyprus1:53.90
4523Martín Kutscher Uruguay1:53.91
4662Andrea Beccari Italy1:54.00
4734Chen Te-tung Chinese Taipei1:54.14
4815Igor Erhartić Serbia and Montenegro1:54.21
4925Ştefan Pinciuc Moldova1:54.56
5021Anouar Ben Naceur Tunisia1:54.69
5122Mark Chay Singapore1:54.70
5244Aytekin Mindan Turkey1:55.65
5324Adil Bellaz Morocco1:55.79
5436Mario Delač Croatia1:55.82
5527Vitaliy Khan Kazakhstan1:56.11
5631Diego Mularoni San Marino1:56.18
5728Petr Vasiliev Uzbekistan1:56.93
5813Zurab Khomasuridze Georgia1:58.02
5914Ruslan Ismailov Kyrgyzstan2:01.53


Semifinal 1

14Pieter van den Hoogenband Netherlands1:46.00Q
25Klete Keller United States1:47.28Q
33Simon Burnett Great Britain1:47.72Q
46Květoslav Svoboda Czech Republic1:49.27
57Yoshihiro Okumura Japan1:49.49
61Andreas Zisimos Greece1:49.76
72Dominik Meichtry Switzerland1:50.02
88Olaf Wildeboer Spain1:50.61

Semifinal 2

14Ian Thorpe Australia1:46.65Q
23Michael Phelps United States1:47.08Q
36Grant Hackett Australia1:47.61Q
45Emiliano Brembilla Italy1:47.93Q
52Rick Say Canada1:48.16Q
67George Bovell Trinidad and Tobago1:49.59
71Brent Hayden Canada1:50.00
88Andrey Kapralov Russia1:51.35


5Ian Thorpe Australia1:44.71OR
4Pieter van den Hoogenband Netherlands1:45.23
3Michael Phelps United States1:45.32AM
46Klete Keller United States1:46.13
52Grant Hackett Australia1:46.56
68Rick Say Canada1:47.55
77Simon Burnett Great Britain1:48.02
81Emiliano Brembilla Italy1:48.40


  1. "Australia hails Athens hero Thorpe". CNN. 17 August 2004. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  2. Thomas, Stephen (16 August 2004). "The Thorpedo Triumphs over Hoogie in the "Race of the Century", Phelps Takes the Bronze". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  3. "Thorpe torpedoes his world rivals". CNN. 17 August 2004. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  4. Gordos, Phil (17 August 2004). "Thorpe steals Phelps' thunder". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
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