Swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
The Aquatics Centre
|Venue||Aquatics Centre (pool)
Hyde Park (open-water)
|Dates||28 July – 4 August 2012 (pool)
9–10 August (open water)
|Competitors||900 (pool), 50 (open water)|
|Swimming at the
2012 Summer Olympics
Swimming featured 34 events (17 male, 17 female), including two 10 km open-water marathons in Hyde Park's Serpentine lake. The remaining 32 were contested in a 50 m long course pool within the Olympic Park.
Swimmers from the United States were the most successful, winning 16 gold medals and 31 in total.
The following events were contested (all pool events were long course, and distances are in metres unless stated):
- Freestyle: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 (women), and 1,500 (men);
- Backstroke: 100 and 200;
- Breaststroke: 100 and 200;
- Butterfly: 100 and 200;
- Individual medley: 200 and 400;
- Relays: 4 × 100 free, 4 × 200 free; 4 × 100 medley
- Marathon: 10 kilometres
Pool schedule 
Open-water schedule 
|Women's marathon 10 km|
|Men's marathon 10 km|
FINA By-Law BL 22.214.171.124 (swimming) and BL 126.96.36.199.3 (open water) lays out the qualification procedures for the "Swimming" competition at the Olympics. Each country is allowed to enter up to two swimmers per individual event (provided they qualify), and one entry per relay; and a country may not have more than 26 males and 26 females (52 total) on its team.
Swimming – individual events 
On 11 November 2010, FINA posted the qualifying times for individual events for the 2012 Olympics. The time standards consist of two time standards, an "Olympic Qualifying Time" and an "Olympic invitation time". Each country was able to enter up to two swimmers per event, provided both swimmers met the (faster) qualifying time. A country was able to enter one swimmer per event that met the invitation standard. Any swimmer who met the "qualifying" time was entered in the event for the Games; a swimmer meeting the "invitation" standard was eligible for entry, and their entry was allotted/filled in by ranking.
If a country has no swimmers meeting either qualifying standard, it may enter one male and one female. A country that does not receive an allocation spot but has at least one swimmer who meets a qualifying standard may enter the swimmer with the highest ranking.
Swimming – relay events 
Each relay event featured 16 teams, composed of:
- 12: the top-12 finishers at the 2011 World Championships in each relay event.
- 4: the 4 fastest non-qualified teams, based on times in the 15-months preceding the Olympics.
Open-water swimming 
The men's and women's 10 km races at the 2012 Olympics each featured 25 swimmers:
- 10: the top-10 finishers in the 10 km races at the 2011 World Championships
- 9: the top-9 finishers at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier (8–9 June 2012 in Setúbal, Portugal).
- 5: one representative from each FINA continent (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania). (These were selected based on the finishes at the qualifying race in Setúbal.)
- 1: from the host nation (Great Britain) if not qualified by other means. If Great Britain already had a qualifier in the race, this spot was allocated back into the general pool from the 2012 qualifying race.
Participating nations 
FINA announced in early July 2012 that 631 athletes from 166 nations would compete in swimming events at the 2012 Olympics (note: all nations qualified for the 10 km races also have at least 1 swimmer qualified for the pool portion). 59 nations qualified via the A cut (OQT), 12 via the B cut (OST) and 95 via Universality. Nations with swimmers at the Games are (team size in parentheses):
Medal summary 
Note: There were ties for silver in the men's 200 m freestyle and men's 100 m butterfly events.
Men's events 
- a Swimmers who participated in the heats only and received medals.
Women's events 
- b Swimmers who participated in the heats only and received medals.
Olympic and world records broken 
|Men's 400 m freestyle||28 July||Final||Sun Yang||China||3:40.14||OR||1|
|Men's 100 m breaststroke||28 July||Semifinal||Cameron van der Burgh||South Africa||58.83||OR||1|
|Men's 100 m breaststroke||29 July||Final||Cameron van der Burgh||South Africa||58.46||WR||2|
|Men's 100 m backstroke||30 July||Final||Matt Grevers||United States||52.16||OR||3|
|Men's 200 m breaststroke||1 August||Final||Dániel Gyurta||Hungary||2:07.28||WR||5|
|Men's 200 m backstroke||2 August||Final||Tyler Clary||United States||1:53.41||OR||6|
|Men's 1500 m freestyle||4 August||Final||Sun Yang||China||14:31.02||WR||8|
- All world records (WR) are subsequently Olympic records (OR).
In the women's 400-metre individual medley, Chinese Ye Shiwen won in a world-record time of 4:28.43. After the race, Ye was had allegations against her suggesting the use of drugs that drew comment from the International Olympic Committee and FINA who defended Ye. Ye has never tested positive of any performance-enhancing drugs. Some claim the accusations were a result of xenophobism towards the Chinese.
In the final of the 100-metre breaststroke, South African Cameron van der Burgh won in a world-record time of 58.46, bettering the previous record of 58.58 held by Brenton Rickard of Australia. After the race however, underwater camera footage showed winner van der Burgh did three illegal butterfly kicks on the underwater pullout (rules allow for one kick). Van der Burgh later admitted to the illegal move and justified the act by saying if he was not doing it, "you are falling behind or giving yourself a disadvantage."
Gallery of the medalists 
Some of the Olympic medalists in London:
Yannick Agnel, winner of the 200-metre freestyle and 4×100-metre freestyle relay.
Cameron van der Burgh, winner of the 100-metre breaststroke.
Tyler Clary, winner of the 200-metre backstroke.
Chad le Clos, winner of the 200-metre butterfly.
Missy Franklin, winner of the 100-metre backstroke, 200-metre backstroke, 4×200-metre freestyle, and 4×100-metre medley.
Matt Grevers, winner of the 100-metre backstroke and 4×100-metre medley.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo, winner of the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle.
Ryan Lochte, winner of the 400-metre individual medley and 4×200-metre freestyle.
Florent Manaudou, winner of the 50-metre freestyle.
Rūta Meilutytė, winner of the 100-metre breaststroke.
Oussama Mellouli, winner of the 10-kilometre marathon.
Camille Muffat, winner of the 400-metre freestyle.
Michael Phelps, winner of the 100-metre butterfly, 200-metre individual medley, 4×200-metre freestyle, and 4×100-metre medley.
Emily Seebohm, member of the winning 4×100-metre freestyle.
Rebecca Soni, winner of the 200-metre breaststroke and 4×100-metre medley.
- Olympic Sports | Swimming page from the 2012 Olympics website (www.london2012.com); retrieved 2010-12-17.
- FINA By Law 9 page from FINA's website (www.fina.org); retrieved 2010-12-17.
- Qualifying times for London Olympic Games 2012, posted by FINA on 2010-11-11; retrieved 2010-12-17.
- FINA Press Release 2010–79: FINA Bureau Meeting in Dubai (UAE); published by FINA on 2010-12-14; retrieved 2010-12-17.
- London 2012 – Swimming – Qualified Swimmers. Posted by FINA on 2012-07-06; retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "Illegal Triple-Dolphin Kicks Seen in World Record Breaststroke Swim". SwimSwam. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
- "South African Cameron van der Burgh admits using illegal dolphin kicks to win gold medal". The Australian. 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
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