Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's 200 metre freestyle

The men's 200 metre freestyle event at the 2008 Olympic Games took place on 10–12 August at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China.[1]

Men's 200 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
VenueBeijing National Aquatics Center
DateAugust 10, 2008 (heats)
August 11, 2008 (semifinals)
August 12, 2008 (final)
Competitors58 from 50 nations
Winning time1:42.96 WR
Michael Phelps  United States
Park Tae-Hwan  South Korea
Peter Vanderkaay  United States

After winning a bronze in Athens four years earlier, Michael Phelps blasted a new world record of 1:42.96 to claim his third straight gold, ninth career, and eleventh overall medal at the Olympics.[2][3] South Korea's Park Tae-Hwan added a silver to his collection, following an unprecedented triumph in the 400 m freestyle two days earlier. He established a new Asian record of 1:44.85 to clear a 1:45 barrier, and used a final-lap split of 26.17 to edge out Phelps' teammate Peter Vanderkaay, who took home a bronze medal in a personal best of 1:45.14.[2][4]

South Africa's Jean Basson finished fourth with a time of 1:45.97, and was followed in the fifth spot by Germany's Paul Biedermann in 1:46.00. Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry, who raced to a top seed in the prelims, earned a sixth spot in 1:46.95, while Japan's Yoshihiro Okumura (1:47.14) and Great Britain's Robbie Renwick (1:47.47) rounded out the finale.[5] Renwick missed out the semifinals by 0.01 of a second from the prelims, but was offered a second shot, following a sudden withdrawal of two swimmers. Canada's Brent Hayden and France's Amaury Leveaux later scratched the event to focus on their duty in the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay.[6]


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

World record Michael Phelps (USA)1:43.86Melbourne, Australia27 March 2007
Olympic record Ian Thorpe (AUS)1:44.71Athens, Greece16 August 2004

The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.

August 12FinalMichael Phelps United States1:42.96WR, OR



182Dominik Meichtry Switzerland1:45.80Q, NR
264Jean Basson South Africa1:46.31Q
362Brent Hayden Canada1:46.40Q, WD
484Michael Phelps United States1:46.48Q
563Colin Russell Canada1:46.58Q
685Park Tae-Hwan South Korea1:46.73Q
783Danila Izotov Russia1:46.80Q
887Yoshihiro Okumura Japan1:46.89Q
967Emiliano Brembilla Italy1:47.04Q
1075Paul Biedermann Germany1:47.09Q
1186Ross Davenport Great Britain1:47.13Q
1274Peter Vanderkaay United States1:47.39Q
1365Amaury Leveaux France1:47.44Q, WD
1466Nicholas Sprenger Australia1:47.64Q
1556Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or Israel1:47.78Q, NR
1681Dominik Koll Austria1:47.81Q, NR
1777Robbie Renwick Great Britain1:47.82
1861Rodrigo Castro Brazil1:47.87
1968Oussama Mellouli Tunisia1:47.97
73Alexander Sukhorukov Russia
2155Darian Townsend South Africa1:48.08
2276Kenrick Monk Australia1:48.17
2351Sergiy Advena Ukraine1:48.18NR
2454Sho Uchida Japan1:48.34
2578Romāns Miloslavskis Latvia1:48.41NR
2652Shaune Fraser Cayman Islands1:48.60
2744Gard Kvale Norway1:48.73NR
2872Massimiliano Rosolino Italy1:48.76
2953Andreas Zisimos Greece1:48.82
3058Glenn Surgeloose Belgium1:48.92
3147Jon Raahauge Rud Denmark1:48.96
3235Ryan Pini Papua New Guinea1:49.04
3371Zhang Enjian China1:49.15
3488Łukasz Gąsior Poland1:49.25
3545Norbert Kovács Hungary1:49.34
3646Martín Kutscher Uruguay1:49.61
3731Dominik Straga Croatia1:49.63
3843Christoffer Wikström Sweden1:49.84
3957Tiago Venâncio Portugal1:50.24
4037Radovan Siljevski Serbia1:50.25
4126Bryan Tay Singapore1:50.41NR
4233Crox Acuña Venezuela1:50.52
4332Julio Galofre Colombia1:50.62
4436Daniel Bego Malaysia1:50.92
4525Vladimir Sidorkin Estonia1:51.27NR
4642Květoslav Svoboda Czech Republic1:51.67
4738Saulius Binevičius Lithuania1:51.80
4848Virdhawal Khade India1:51.86
4941Raphael Stacchiotti Luxembourg1:52.01
5023Mario Montoya Costa Rica1:52.19NR
5124Mahrez Mebarek Algeria1:52.66
5222Artur Dilman Kazakhstan1:52.90
5314Irakli Revishvili Georgia1:53.60
5421Ibrahim Nazarov Uzbekistan1:56.27
5513Mihajlo Ristovski Macedonia1:57.45
5627Andrei Zaharov Moldova1:58.62
5715Emanuele Nicolini San Marino1:59.47
34Luka Turk SloveniaDNS


Semifinal 1

14Jean Basson South Africa1:46.13Q
23Danila Izotov Russia1:47.24
32Ross Davenport Great Britain1:47.35
46Emiliano Brembilla Italy1:47.70
57Nicholas Sprenger Australia1:47.80
61Dominik Koll Austria1:47.87
75Colin Russell Canada1:48.13
88Rodrigo Castro Brazil1:48.71

Semifinal 2

17Peter Vanderkaay United States1:45.76Q
23Park Tae-Hwan South Korea1:45.99Q, AS
35Michael Phelps United States1:46.28Q
42Paul Biedermann Germany1:46.41Q
56Yoshihiro Okumura Japan1:46.44Q
64Dominik Meichtry Switzerland1:46.54Q
78Robbie Renwick Great Britain1:47.07Q
81Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or Israel1:48.16


6Michael Phelps United States1:42.96WR
5Park Tae-Hwan South Korea1:44.85AS
4Peter Vanderkaay United States1:45.14
43Jean Basson South Africa1:45.97
52Paul Biedermann Germany1:46.00
61Dominik Meichtry Switzerland1:46.95
77Yoshihiro Okumura Japan1:47.14
88Robbie Renwick Great Britain1:47.47


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