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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

Summary

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.