Swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Men's 200 metre backstroke
|Men's 200 metre backstroke
at the Games of the XXVII Olympiad
|Venue||Sydney International Aquatic Centre|
|Date||September 20, 2000 (heats &
September 21, 2000 (final)
|Competitors||46 from 42 nations|
|Winning time||1:56.76 OR|
|Swimming events at the
2000 Summer Olympics
Soviet-born American Lenny Krayzelburg became the fourth swimmer in Olympic history to strike a backstroke double, since Roland Matthes did so in 1968 and 1972, John Naber in 1976, and Rick Carey in 1984. He powered past his nearest rivals Aaron Peirsol and Australia's overwhelming favorite Matt Welsh to hit the wall first in a new Olympic record of 1:56.76. At only 17 years of age, Peirsol trailed behind by almost half a second (0.50) to take a silver in 1:57.35, handing an entire medal haul for the U.S. team with a one–two finish. Meanwhile, Welsh settled only for the bronze in an Oceanian record of 1:57.59.
Iceland's Örn Arnarson came up with a spectacular swim to earn a fourth spot in 1:59.00, holding off Italy's Emanuele Merisi (1:59.01), bronze medalist in Atlanta four years earlier, by a hundredth of a second (0.01). Romania's Răzvan Florea finished sixth with a time of 1:59.05, while Brazil's Rogério Romero (1:59.27), competing at his fourth Olympics, and Croatia's Gordan Kožulj (1:59.38) closed out the field. For the first time in Olympic history, all eight swimmers went under a two-minute barrier.
Earlier, Krayzelburg established a new Olympic standard of 1:58.40 on the morning prelims to cut off Martin López-Zubero's eight-year record by seven hundredths of a second (0.07). Followed by an evening session, he eventually lowered it to 1:57.27 in the semifinals.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Lenny Krayzelburg (USA)||1:55.87||Sydney, Australia||27 August 1999|||
|Olympic record||Martin López-Zubero (ESP)||1:58.47||Barcelona, Spain||28 July 1992|||
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|20 September||Heat 6||Lenny Krayzelburg||United States||1:58.40||OR|
|20 September||Semifinal 2||Lenny Krayzelburg||United States||1:57.27||OR|
|21 September||Final||Lenny Krayzelburg||United States||1:56.76||OR|
|1||4||Aaron Peirsol||United States||1:58.44||Q|
|3||3||Örn Arnarson||Iceland||1:58.99||Q, NR|
|1||4||Lenny Krayzelburg||United States||1:57.27||Q, OR|
|2||3||Răzvan Florea||Romania||1:59.44||Q, NR|
|4||Lenny Krayzelburg||United States||1:56.76||OR|
|5||Aaron Peirsol||United States||1:57.35|
- "Swimming schedule". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 September 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Double gold for Krayzelburg". BBC Sport. 18 September 2000. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Dillman, Lisa (22 September 2000). "Thrills & Chills". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- Berlin, Peter (22 September 2000). "De Bruijn Takes Second Gold; Hungarian and Italian Also Triumph : European Swimmers Steal the Show". New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- Whitten, Phillip (21 September 2000). "Olympic Day 6 Finals". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Whitten, Phillip (20 September 2000). "Olympic Day 5 Prelims". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Peterson, Lauren (21 September 2000). "States Athletic Teams Krayzelburg, Ervin Advance in Sydney". New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- "Sydney 2000: Swimming – Men's 100m Backstroke Heats" (PDF). Sydney 2000. LA84 Foundation. pp. 278–279. Retrieved 1 June 2013.