Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Women's 200 metre breaststroke
|Women's 200 metre breaststroke
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
|Venue||Beijing National Aquatics Center|
|Date||August 13, 2008 (heats)
August 14, 2008 (semifinals)
August 15, 2008 (final)
|Competitors||41 from 34 nations|
|Winning time||2:20.22 WR|
|Swimming events at the
2008 Summer Olympics
U.S. swimmer Rebecca Soni pulled away over the final lap to capture gold and set a new world record of 2:20.22. Australia's world record holder and top favorite Leisel Jones enjoyed a strong lead in the first 100 metres, but ended up only with a silver in 2:22.05, almost two seconds behind Soni. Meanwhile, Sara Nordenstam earned Norway's second Olympic medal in swimming, as he powered home with a bronze in a European record of 2:23.02.
Austria's Mirna Jukić finished outside the medals in fourth place at 2:23.24, while Russia's Yuliya Yefimova set a national record of 2:23.76 to hold off Canada's Annamay Pierse (2:23.77) for a fifth spot by a hundredth of a second (0.01). Japanese duo Rie Kaneto (2:25.14) and Megumi Taneda (2:25.23) closed out the field.
Notable swimmers failed to reach the top 8 final, featuring Germany's Anne Poleska, bronze medalist in Athens four years earlier. Competing at her fourth Olympics, defending champion Amanda Beard placed eighteenth in 2:27.70, but missed the semifinals by 0.42 seconds.
Earlier in the prelims, Soni posted a top-seeded time of 2:22.17 to lead the heats, cutting off Beard's Olympic record by exactly two-tenths of a second (0.20).
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Leisel Jones (AUS)||2:20.54||Melbourne, Australia||1 February 2006|||
|Olympic record||Amanda Beard (USA)||2:23.37||Athens, Greece||19 August 2004||-|
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|August 13||Heat 5||Rebecca Soni||United States||2:22.17||OR|
|August 15||Final||Rebecca Soni||United States||2:20.22||WR|
Semifinal 1 
|2||5||Sara Nordenstam||Norway||2:23.79||Q, EU|
|8||8||Jeong Da-Rae||South Korea||2:28.28|
Semifinal 2 
|1||4||Rebecca Soni||United States||2:22.64||Q|
|2||5||Mirna Jukić||Austria||2:23.76||Q, EU|
|5||7||Jung Seul-Ki||South Korea||2:26.83|
|7||2||Suzaan van Biljon||South Africa||2:28.45|
|4||Rebecca Soni||United States||2:20.22||WR|
- "Olympic Swimming Schedule". USA Today. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Majendie, Paul (15 August 2008). "Soni goes from heart surgery to gold medal". Reuters. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- "Rebecca Soni breaks 200m breaststroke record". France 24. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Breen, Neil (15 August 2008). "Leisel Jones collapses after silver in 200m breaststroke final at Beijing Olympics". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (14 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Rebecca Soni Upsets Leisel Jones With 200 Breast World Record". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Swimmer Phelps wins a sixth gold medal at Beijing". CTV News. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (13 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Rebecca Soni Sets Olympic, American Record to Lead 200 Breast Qualifying". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Pierce, Tony (13 August 2008). "Was Amanda Beard sick, distracted, or just too old to compete in Beijing?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Cowley, Michael (2 February 2006). "Lethal again: Jones beats own record". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 August 2008.