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Swimming at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Backstroke

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 18, 1976
Date Finished: July 19, 1976

Gold: USA John Naber
Silver: USA Peter Rocca
Bronze: GDR Roland Matthes


Swimming World called this the race between the old legend, Roland Matthes, and the developing legend, John Naber. Matthes till held the world record, set in the Munich medley relay, but in 1974 Naber had defeated him, ending his 7-year unbeaten streak in the 100 backstroke. However, Matthes had won the world title in this event in both 1973 and 1975. The two legends qualified 1-2 in round one, Naber posting 56.80 to lead the preliminary round. Then in the semi-finals, Naber posted 56.19 to better the Matthes’ world record. The final saw Matthes make two false starts, but on the legit start Naber went out the fastest, leading to the wall in 26.55, well ahead of his semi-final world record pace and almost a full second of Matthews. The pace seemed unsustainable but sustain it Naber did, finishing in 55.49 for the world record. Behind him, Matthes was unable to keep up with another American, Peter Rocca, who placed second, the bronze going to the East German. A few days later, Matthews would scratch from the 200 backstroke, which Naber would also win, with Rocca adding another silver medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 John Naber 20 United States USA Gold WR
2 Peter Rocca 18 United States USA Silver
3 Roland Matthes 25 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Carlos Berrocal 19 Puerto Rico PUR
5 Lutz Wanja 20 East Germany GDR
6 Bob Jackson 19 United States USA
7 Mark Kerry 16 Australia AUS
8 Mark Tonelli 19 Australia AUS
5 h1 r2/3 Steve Pickell 18 Canada CAN
5 h2 r2/3 Glenn Patching 18 Australia AUS
6 h1 r2/3 Igor Omelchenk'o 16 Soviet Union URS
6 h2 r2/3 Rômulo Arantes Filho 19 Brazil BRA
7 h1 r2/3 Paul Jovanneau 17 Brazil BRA
7 h2 r2/3 Zoltán Verrasztó 20 Hungary HUN
8 h1 r2/3 Ryszard Żugaj 19 Poland POL
8 h2 r2/3 Santiago Esteva 24 Spain ESP
3 h1 r1/3 Miloslav Roľko 15 Czechoslovakia TCH
3 h3 r1/3 Jim Carter 19 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r1/3 Steve Hardy 18 Canada CAN
4 h2 r1/3 José Urueta 20 Mexico MEX
4 h3 r1/3 Gary Abraham 17 Great Britain GBR
4 h4 r1/3 Róbert Rudolf 19 Hungary HUN
4 h5 r1/3 Reinhold Becker 17 West Germany FRG
4 h6 r1/3 Krasimir Stoykov 21 Bulgaria BUL
5 h1 r1/3 Tadashi Honda 24 Japan JPN
5 h2 r1/3 Mikael Brandén 16 Sweden SWE
5 h3 r1/3 Robert Howard 20 Ireland IRL
5 h4 r1/3 Nenad Miloš 21 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h5 r1/3 Predrag Miloš 21 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h6 r1/3 Ignacio Álvarez 19 Mexico MEX
6 h1 r1/3 Ivan Mikolutsky 16 Soviet Union URS
6 h2 r1/3 Chiang Jin Choon 19 Malaysia MAS
6 h3 r1/3 Mike Scarth 17 Canada CAN
6 h4 r1/3 Ramón Volcan 20 Venezuela VEN
6 h5 r1/3 Conrado Porta 18 Argentina ARG
6 h6 r1/3 Enrico Bisso 20 Italy ITA
7 h1 r1/3 Frank Richardson 14 Nicaragua NCA
7 h3 r1/3 António de Melo 16 Portugal POR
7 h4 r1/3 Lionel Beylot-Bourcelot 18 France FRA
7 h5 r1/3 Gerardo Rosario 23 Philippines PHI
7 h6 r1/3 Thomas Hofer 18 Switzerland SUI