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Amanda Beard Edges out Leisel Jones for the Gold in the 200 Breaststroke -- August 19, 2004 interviewed after winning 200 breast

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, August 19. IT was billed as a match race between the two best women over 200 meters breaststroke, the world record-holder Amanda Beard and the former world-record holder Aussie Leisel Jones. Jones had held the global mark for just two days in July before Beard had reclaimed the record at the US Trials.

Jones, the world record-hold over two laps, got a fast start from lane seven and was a clear leader at the 100-meter mark, where Beard moved into second place past another former world record-holder, China’s Qi Hui, setting up a classic 200 race finish.

Jones was still 0.93 in front at the 150 but Beard was closing with long strokes in lane four while Jones' stoke was clearly shortening under the flags. At the wall it was Beard by 0.23 of a second.

German Anne Poleska, who had been seventh at the halfway mark, moved quickly through the field and finished strongly to win Germany’s first individual medal of the meet in a PR 2:25.82.

Agnes Kovacs, the gold medalist from Sydney, finished in fifth place behind Japan’s Masami Tanaka.

Beard now has a full set of medals adding the gold to the silver from Atlanta and bronze from Sydney. She said after her race,"I am both excited and very proud, I'm a very lucky girl, I don't think the smile will come off my face for quite a while." (does it ever Amanda!)

"I have a lot of experience now, I knew where Leisel was all the way, I was glad she was ahead because I could push myself but it hurt ... believe me," she said.

Jones commented on her performance, "I can't say I'm unhappy, I swam the best race I could, I didn't know where she (Beard) was but I could hear the crowd making a lot on noise so I knew she was close."

Despite her comments she sure didn't look the happiest Olympic silver medalist I've ever seen.





Women 200m Breaststroke Finals

Record Splits Name NOC Location Date
WR 2:22.44 33.25 1:09.60 1:46.24 BEARD Amanda USA Long Beach (USA) 12 JUL 2004
OR 2:24.03 33.36 1:10.72 1:47.71 KOVACS Agnes HUN Sydney (AUS) 20 SEP 2000


Event No: 22

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m 100m 150m Time Time
Behind
1 4 BEARD Amanda USA 0.72 (3) 33.18 (2) 1:09.69
36.51 (2) 1:46.56
36.87 2:23.37
36.81 OR
2 7 JONES Leisel AUS 0.76 (1) 32.58 (1) 1:08.88
36.30 (1) 1:45.63
36.75 2:23.60
37.97 0.23
3 6 POLESKA Anne GER 0.85 (5) 33.67 (7) 1:10.98
37.31 (=5) 1:48.38
37.40 2:25.82
37.44 2.45
4 5 TANAKA Masami JPN 0.81 (8) 33.85 (8) 1:11.18
37.33 (8) 1:48.91
37.73 2:25.87
36.96 2.50
5 2 KOVACS Agnes HUN 0.81 (6) 33.68 (6) 1:10.77
37.09 (4) 1:48.11
37.34 2:26.12
38.01 2.75
6 1 QI Hui CHN 0.82 (2) 33.08 (3) 1:10.00
36.92 (3) 1:47.36
37.36 2:26.35
38.99 2.98
7 8 JUKIC Mirna AUT 0.78 (7) 33.75 (5) 1:10.69
36.94 (=5) 1:48.38
37.69 2:26.36
37.98 2.99
8 3 HANSON Brooke AUS 0.74 (4) 33.22 (4) 1:10.62
37.40 (7) 1:48.44
37.82 2:26.39
37.95

Results: 2004 Olympic Games