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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: July 31, 1984
Date Finished: July 31, 1984

Gold: USA Rowdy Gaines
Silver: AUS Mark Stockwell
Bronze: SWE Per Johansson

Summary

In 1980 Rowdy Gaines was the best sprint swimmer in the world and was expected to win four gold medals, until Jimmy Carter told him he could not compete in Moscow. He was World Swimmer of the Year in 1980, and in 1981 finally bettered the 100 freestyle world record with 49.36. By 1984 he was not the swimmer he had been in 1980 but hoped to make up for having to miss the 1980 Olympics. In the end he came through for the gold medal but not without some controversy. The runner-up was Australian Mark Stockwell, and he was upset, thinking the start had not been fair, “I don’t want to take away anything from Rowdy. I mean, he’s great. He’s been around for a long time and he knows what to look out for. It just wasn’t a fair start.” Stockwell’s teammate [Peter Evans], not in this event, was furious, telling him, “You were robbed, mate.”

The starter had been Panamanian Frank Silvestri who had done similar duty at the 1982 World Championships and 1983 Pan American Games, and the American coaches knew of him. They knew he was quick on the trigger for the start and had warned Gaines to be ready. Anticipating that Gaines had an early lead and hung on in the final 25 metres, telling himself, “I can’t stop now, this is my last 25 ever.” In the end the Australian protest was disallowed and Gaines won the gold medal with Stockwell taking silver. Gaines’ time of 49.80 broke the Olympic record set in 1976 by Jim Montgomery, which was the first time the 50-second barrier had been broken.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Rowdy Gaines 25 United States USA Gold
2 Mark Stockwell 21 Australia AUS Silver
3 Per Johansson 21 Sweden SWE Bronze
4 Mike Heath 20 United States USA
5 Dano Halsall 21 Switzerland SUI
6T Stéphan Caron 18 France FRA
6T Alberto Mestre 19 Venezuela VEN
8 Dirk Korthals 22 West Germany FRG
9 Ang Peng Siong 21 Singapore SIN
10 Stéfan Voléry 22 Switzerland SUI
11 David Lowe 24 Great Britain GBR
12 Fabrizio Rampazzo 21 Italy ITA
13T Hans Kroes 19 Netherlands NED
13T Thomas Lejdström 22 Sweden SWE
15 Edsard Schlingemann 17 Netherlands NED
16 Peter Rohde 19 Denmark DEN
17 Michael Delany 18 Australia AUS
18 Cyro Delgado 23 Brazil BRA
19 Fernando Cañales 24 Puerto Rico PUR
20 Alexander Schowtka 20 West Germany FRG
21 Paul Easter 21 Great Britain GBR
22 Dave Churchill 20 Canada CAN
23 Ramiro Estrada 22 Mexico MEX
24 Franz Mortensen 20 Denmark DEN
25 Alexander Pilhatsch 21 Austria AUT
26 Marco Colombo 23 Italy ITA
27 Tony Portela 18 Puerto Rico PUR
28 Ronald Menezes 21 Brazil BRA
29 Blair Hicken 19 Canada CAN
30 Michael Miao 21 Chinese Taipei TPE
31 Mu Lati 20 China CHN
32 Shen Jianqiang 18 China CHN
33 Shigeo Ogata 15 Japan JPN
34 Mohamed Youssef 21 Egypt EGY
35 Kemal Sadri Özün 20 Turkey TUR
36 Li Khai Kam 18 Hong Kong HKG
37 Sean Nottage 19 Bahamas BAH
38 Fabián Ferrari 19 Argentina ARG
39 Satoshi Sumida 21 Japan JPN
40 Hilton Woods 15 Netherlands Antilles AHO
41 Luki Niode 20 Indonesia INA
42 Oon Jin Gee 17 Singapore SIN
43 Gökhan Attaroğlu 19 Turkey TUR
44 Fernando Rodríguez 21 Peru PER
45T William Wilson 19 Philippines PHI
45T Deryck Marks 20 Jamaica JAM
47 Erik Rosskopf 19 United States Virgin Islands ISV
48 César Sánchez 22 Mexico MEX
49 Anthony Nesty 16 Suriname SUR
50 Ahmed Said 22 Egypt EGY
51 Evert Kroon 17 Netherlands Antilles AHO
52 Gordon Scarlett 16 Jamaica JAM
53 Collier Woolard 15 United States Virgin Islands ISV
54 Samuela Tupou 29 Fiji FIJ
55 Ingi Jónsson 21 Iceland ISL
56 Jean-Luc Adorno 23 Monaco MON
57 Warren Sorby 18 Fiji FIJ
58 Rodrigo Leal 17 Guatemala GUA
59 Khaled Al-Assaf 20 Kuwait KUW
60 Ernesto José Degenhart 18 Guatemala GUA
61 Hamad Bader Bahrain BRN
62 Trevor Ncala 19 Swaziland SWZ
63 Michele Piva 18 San Marino SMR
64 Rodolfo Torres Honduras HON
65 Domingos Chivavele 18 Mozambique MOZ
66 Percy Sayegh 19 Lebanon LIB
67 Rami Kantari 21 Lebanon LIB
68 Daniel Mulumba 21 Uganda UGA