Swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Women's 200 metre breaststroke
|Women's 200 metre breaststroke
at the Games of the XXVII Olympiad
|Venue||Sydney International Aquatic Centre|
|Date||September 20, 2000 (heats &
September 21, 2000 (final)
|Competitors||36 from 30 nations|
|Swimming events at the
2000 Summer Olympics
Charging back from third at the 150-metre turn, Hungary's Ágnes Kovács edged out U.S. swimmer Kristy Kowal on the final stretch to capture the gold in 2:24.35. Kowal, who seized off a powerful lead from the start, took home the silver in a new American record of 2:24.56. Her teammate Amanda Beard, silver medalist in Atlanta four years earlier, gave the Americans a further reason to celebrate as she enjoyed the race to move up from eighth after the semifinals for the bronze in 2:25.35, holding off a fast-pacing Qi Hui of China (2:25.36) by a hundredth of a second (0.01).
Qi was followed in fifth by Russia's Olga Bakaldina (2:25.47) and in sixth by South Africa's Sarah Poewe (2:25.72), fourth-place finalist in the 100 m breaststroke. Japan's Masami Tanaka (2:26.98) and Qi's teammate Luo Xuejuan (2:27.33) closed out the field.
World record holder Penny Heyns missed a chance to defend her Olympic title in the event, after helplessly winding up a twentieth-place effort in the prelims at 2:30.17. Shortly after the Games, she made a decision to officially announce her retirement from international swimming.
Earlier, Kovacs established a new Olympic standard of 2:24.92 on the morning prelims to clear a 2:25-barrier and cut off Heyns' record by almost half a second (0.50). Following by an evening session, she eventually lowered it to 2:24.03 in the semifinals.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were:
|World record||Penny Heyns (RSA)||2:23.64||Sydney, Australia||27 August 1999|||
|Olympic record||Penny Heyns (RSA)||2:25.41||Atlanta, United States||23 July 1996|||
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|20 September||Heat 5||Ágnes Kovács||Hungary||2:24.92||OR|
|20 September||Semifinal 1||Ágnes Kovács||Hungary||2:24.03||OR|
|1||4||Kristy Kowal||United States||2:25.46||Q|
|2||6||Sarah Poewe||South Africa||2:25.54||Q|
|6||2||Ku Hyo-Jin||South Korea||2:28.50|
|1||4||Ágnes Kovács||Hungary||2:24.03||Q, OR|
|2||5||Qi Hui||China||2:24.21||Q, NR|
|3||2||Olga Bakaldina||Russia||2:25.41||Q, NR|
|5||6||Amanda Beard||United States||2:26.62||Q|
|6||Kristy Kowal||United States||2:24.56||AM|
|8||Amanda Beard||United States||2:25.35|
|6||2||Sarah Poewe||South Africa||2:25.72|
- "Swimming schedule". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 September 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
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- "Sydney 2000: Notebook; Krayzelburg Favored; Thompson a Long Shot". New York Times. 20 September 2000. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Sydney 2000: Swimming – Women's 200m Breaststroke Heats" (PDF). Sydney 2000. LA84 Foundation. pp. 269–270. Retrieved 19 June 2013.