Swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's 200 metre freestyle
|Women's 200 metre freestyle|
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
|Venue||London Aquatics Centre|
|Date||July 30, 2012 (heats &|
July 31, 2012 (final)
|Competitors||37 from 31 nations|
|Winning time||1:53.61 OR|
U.S. swimmer Allison Schmitt blasted a new Olympic record with a stunning effort to capture the gold medal in the event for the first time, since Nicole Haislett topped the podium in 1992. She pulled away from a tightly-packed field on the final lap to hit the wall first in a sterling time of 1:53.61, shaving 1.21 seconds off the record set by Italy's Federica Pellegrini from Beijing in 2008. After defeating Schmitt in a close duel to grab the 400 m freestyle title two days earlier, France's Camille Muffat trailed behind her rival by almost a body length for the silver in 1:55.58. Meanwhile, Australia's Bronte Barratt produced a striking touch to take home the bronze in 1:55.81, edging out American teenage star Missy Franklin by a hundredth of a second.
Franklin missed a chance to add her third career medal with a fourth-place time in 1:55.82, while Pellegrini, the defending Olympic champion, dropped off the podium to fifth in 1:56.73. Russia's Veronika Popova (1:57.25), Great Britain's home favorite Caitlin McClatchey (1:57.60) and Barratt's teammate Kylie Palmer (1:57.68) closed out the field.
Notable swimmers failed to reach the top-eight final roster including Slovenia's Sara Isaković, the defending silver medalist, who placed fourteenth (1:58.47) in the semifinals; and Romania's Camelia Potec, a four-time Olympian and 2004 Olympic champion, who posted a twenty-fifth place time (2:01.15) on the morning prelims.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Federica Pellegrini (ITA)||1:52.98||Rome, Italy||29 July 2009|||
|Olympic record||Federica Pellegrini (ITA)||1:54.82||Beijing, China||13 August 2008|||
The following records were established during the competition:
|July 31||Final||Allison Schmitt||United States||1:53.61||OR|
|2||4||Allison Schmitt||United States||1:56.15||Q|
|4||5||Veronika Popova||Russia||1:56.84||Q, NR|
|2||6||Caitlin McClatchey||Great Britain||1:57.33||Q|
|4||5||Missy Franklin||United States||1:57.57||Q|
|5||3||Melania Costa Schmid||Spain||1:57.76|
|5||Allison Schmitt||United States||1:53.61||OR, AM|
|4||8||Missy Franklin||United States||1:55.82|
|7||7||Caitlin McClatchey||Great Britain||1:57.60|
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