At Beijing 2008, Hayden Stoeckel, from rural South Australia, shared the bronze medal with Arkady Vyatchanin of Russia in the 100 metres backstroke. He was the fastest qualifier for the final, and in the process became the first Australian to break the 53-second barrier for the event. The gold medal went to the great Aaron Peirsol of the United States, with Ashley Delaney of Australia finishing fifth. Stoeckel joined Matt Welsh, silver medal at Sydney 2000, David Theile, gold medals at Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960, and John Monkton, silver medal at Melbourne 1956, as the only Australian male medallists in the 100 metres backstroke at the Olympic Games. Stoeckel also finished a creditable sixth in the 200 metres backstroke.
In the 4 x 100 metres medley relay he combined with Brenton Rickard, Andrew Lauterstein and Eamon Sullivan to claim the silver medal behind the Michael Phelps-led Americans.
Competing at his second Games in London, Stoeckel added another Olympic bronze medal to his list of achievements. Having finished seventh in the 100m backstroke final, Stoeckel lined up alongside James Magnussen, Christian Sprenger and Matt Targett in the medley relay. Stoeckel had the Australians in fifth after the first change before Sprenger and Targett kept Australia in the hunt for the medals as Magnussen entered the last leg in fourth place. Magnussen overtook the Hungarians to take the bronze, only 0.32 seconds behind the Japanese. The United States won the race 2.23 seconds ahead of Australia.