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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 25, 1996
Date Finished: July 26, 1996

Gold: AUS Kieren Perkins
Silver: AUS Daniel Kowalski
Bronze: GBR Graeme Smith

Summary

At the start of 1996 you could argue that Australia’s Kieren Perkins was the biggest “sure thing” of the entire swimming competitions. The 1992 champion had won every major title over the distance since Barcelona and also held the world record. Unfortunately for Perkins, the Olympic year had not been good to him and he had been beaten at the Australian trials over the distance and, additionally, had failed even to qualify for the 400 metres freestyle.

Even in the heats at Atlanta things looked bleak for the Australian as he only qualified for the final with 0.2 of a second to spare over the fifteen minute race. Perkins blamed his heat performance on at an attempt to qualify with the least effort which had the negative effect of spoiling his body posture and slowing him down more than desired.

He put things to right in the final and, after taking the lead almost from the gun, sped ahead and was never troubled again. His time was 15 seconds off his own world record but still good enough to take a clear victory over his rivals. The silver medal was decided on the final touch where Perkins’ compatriot Daniel Kowalski beat Graeme Smith of Great Britain by a 20th of a second.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Kieren Perkins 22 Australia AUS Gold
2 Daniel Kowalski 21 Australia AUS Silver
3 Graeme Smith 20 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Emiliano Brembilla 17 Italy ITA
5 Ryk Neethling 18 South Africa RSA
6 Masato Hirano 21 Japan JPN
7 Jörg Hoffmann 26 Germany GER
8 Aleksey Akatyev 21 Russia RUS
9 Steffen Zesner 28 Germany GER
10 Paul Palmer 21 Great Britain GBR
11 Luiz Lima 18 Brazil BRA
12 Peter Wright 23 United States USA
13 Carlton Bruner 24 United States USA
14 Aleksey Butsenin 20 Russia RUS
15 Ihor Snitko 17 Ukraine UKR
16 Torlarp Sethsothorn 16 Thailand THA
17 Yann de Fabrique 23 France FRA
18 Marco Formentini 26 Italy ITA
19 Sergey Mikhnovets 24 Belarus BLR
20 Ricardo Monasterio 17 Venezuela VEN
21 Frederik Hviid 21 Spain ESP
22 Hisato Yasui 20 Japan JPN
23 Jacob Carstensen 17 Denmark DEN
24 Denys Zavhorodniy 16 Ukraine UKR
25 Lee Gyu-Chang 17 South Korea KOR
26 Agustín Fiorilli 17 Argentina ARG
27 Scott Cameron 19 New Zealand NZL
28 Igor Majcen 26 Slovenia SLO
29 Ramón Valle 19 Honduras HON
30 Dimitrios Manganas 18 Greece GRE
31 Pedro Ferreira 18 Portugal POR
32 Hicham El-Masry 23 Syria SYR
33 Hamid Reza Khani 17 Iran IRI
34 Rashid Salim Al-Ma'Shari 18 Oman OMA