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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Backstroke

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

Gold: USA Brad Bridgewater
Silver: USA Tripp Schwenk
Bronze: ITA Emanuele Merisi

Summary

In 1992 this race had provided the host nation of Spain with one of their greatest ever Olympic moments as home swimmer Martín López-Zubero had become their first ever Olympic swimming champion. He returned from a brief retirement to defend his Olympic title although Vladimir Selkov, the silver medalist from Barcelona and current world champion, was now thought to have usurped the Spaniard’s position as world number one.

Neither Selkov or López-Zubero arrived at Atlanta with the fastest time of the year so far – that honour belonged to the Italian Emanuele Merisi who had swam a fast 1:57.70 at the Italian Olympic trails. However none of the three could perform up to expectations at the Olympic Games and Selkov failed even to reach the final. The men who did produce their best on the important day were two Americans who were both from Florida and who had competed against each other since they were very young.

Brad Bridgewater took up the pace after the first turn with Tripp Schwenk hanging on his heels. Both men tired down the home stretch but they had enough to hold on for a US 1-2 with Bridgewater touching ahead of Schwenk. Merisi come through for third in a time well outside his personal best

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Brad Bridgewater 23 United States USA Gold
2 Tripp Schwenk 25 United States USA Silver
3 Emanuele Merisi 23 Italy ITA Bronze
4 Bartosz Sikora 20 Poland POL
5 Hajime Itoi 25 Japan JPN
6 Martín López-Zubero 27 Spain ESP
7 Mirko Mazzari 21 Italy ITA
8 Rodolfo Falcón 23 Cuba CUB
9 Ryuji Horii 21 Japan JPN
10 Chris Renaud 19 Canada CAN
11 Marko Strahija 21 Croatia CRO
12 Olivér Ágh 21 Hungary HUN
13 Adam Ruckwood 21 Great Britain GBR
14 Ji Sang-Jun 22 South Korea KOR
15 Rogério Romero 26 Brazil BRA
16 Sergey Ostapchuk 20 Russia RUS
17 Vladimir Selkov 25 Russia RUS QC
18 Ralf Braun 23 Germany GER QC
19 Miroslav Machovič 20 Slovakia SVK
20 Neisser Bent 19 Cuba CUB
21 Derya Büyükuncu 20 Turkey TUR
22 Arūnas Savickas 21 Lithuania LTU
23 Steven Dewick 20 Australia AUS
24 Rastislav Bizub 23 Czech Republic CZE
25 Raymond Papa Philippines PHI
26 Dulyarit Phuangthong 18 Thailand THA
27 Nicolás Rajcevich 17 Chile CHI
28 Nicky Neckles 17 Barbados BAR
29 Nuno Laurentino 20 Portugal POR
30 Carlos Arena 20 Mexico MEX
31 Alex Lim 15 Malaysia MAS
32 Martin Harris 27 Great Britain GBR
33 Artur Elezarov 22 Moldova MDA
34 Nicolae Butacu 22 Romania ROU
35 Adrian O'Connor 24 Ireland IRL
36 Gerald Koh 18 Singapore SIN
37 Panagiotis Adamidis 18 Greece GRE
38 Trương Ngọc Tuấn 19 Vietnam VIE
39 Zhao Yi 17 China CHN