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Swimming at the 1948 London Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Backstroke

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Date Started: August 4, 1948
Date Finished: August 6, 1948

Gold: USA Allen Stack
Silver: USA Bob Cowell
Bronze: FRA Georges Vallerey, Jr.

Summary

Earlier in the year [Allan Stack] had broken [Adolph Kiefer]’s twelve year old world record for this event and the stylish American was considered a strong favourite to follow Kiefer as Olympic champion. Stack was fastest in both heat and semi-final but had a nasty surprise as he lined up for the start of the final. As he waited in the water he attempted to tighten his swimming trunks and felt the cord break in his hands and his trunks begin to slip off. Fortunately the starter allowed him to leave the pool and replace his trunks and avoid what could have been an embarrassing situation for him. The final turned out to be much closer than had been anticipated with Stack’s fellow American, [Robert Cowell], pressing him throughout and even leading at one stage. The difference between gold medal winner Stack and Cowell in silver was just a tenth of a second.