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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Women's 100 metres Backstroke

Swimming at the 1996 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 22, 1996
Date Finished: July 22, 1996

Gold: USA Beth Botsford
Silver: USA Whitney Hedgepeth
Bronze: RSA Marianne Kriel

Summary

The 100 metres backstroke final was memorable for being literally a battle between master and pupil. The two main protagonists were both American with 25-year-old schoolteacher Whitney Hedgepeth facing off against 15-year-old high school student Beth Botsford for the Olympic title.

Their paths to the medal podium were made considerably easier by the failure to qualify to the final of the two women who finished 1-2 at the last World Championships. He Cihong was another of the Chinese team to fail to live up to the reputation gained in their glory year of 1994 whilst Nina Zhivanevskaya of Russia finished just 0.04 outside the top eight who qualified.

Botsford was never headed in the final and while Hedgepath did close slowly in the latter stages she was nearly three tenths of a second clear at the end of the race. This victory earned her a place on the US medley relay team where she earned a second gold medal. Botsford won a Pan American Games silver medal over this distance in 1999 and a Universiade bronze over 50 metres in 2003 but this was her first and last Olympic Games.

Hungary's Krisztina Egerszegi chose not to swim in order to focus on other events. The time she set on the backstroke leg of the medley relay in Atlanta would have been enough to win gold in the 100 metres backstroke.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Beth Botsford 15 United States USA Gold
2 Whitney Hedgepeth 25 United States USA Silver
3 Marianne Kriel 24 South Africa RSA Bronze
4 Mai Nakamura 17 Japan JPN
5 Chen Yan 17 China CHN
6 Antje Buschschulte 17 Germany GER
7 Nicole Livingstone-Stevenson 25 Australia AUS
8 Miki Nakao 18 Japan JPN
9 Nina Zhivanevskaya 19 Russia RUS
10 Anke Scholz 17 Germany GER
11 Lydia Lipscombe 16 New Zealand NZL
12 Olga Kochetkova 16 Russia RUS
13 Helen Slatter 26 Great Britain GBR
14 Elli Overton 22 Australia AUS
15 Julie Howard 19 Canada CAN
16 Therèse Alshammar 18 Sweden SWE
17 Mette Jacobsen 23 Denmark DEN QC
18 Lee Ji-Hyeon 18 South Korea KOR
19 Hélène Ricardo 22 France FRA
20 Eva Piñera 22 Spain ESP
21 Praphalsai Minpraphal 18 Thailand THA
22 Maria Santos 17 Portugal POR
23 Anu Koivisto 16 Finland FIN
24 Marcela Kubalčíková 23 Czech Republic CZE
25 Yseult Gervy 17 Belgium BEL
26 He Cihong 21 China CHN
27 Aikaterini Klepkou 24 Greece GRE
28T Gillian Thomson 21 Philippines PHI
28T Carmen Herea 17 Romania ROU
30 Valeria Álvarez 18 Argentina ARG
31 Dagmara Komorowicz 17 Poland POL
32 Annamária Kiss 14 Hungary HUN
33 Gail Rizzo 17 Malta MLT
34 Tsai Shu-Min 17 Chinese Taipei TPE
35 Ximena Escalera 16 Bolivia BOL
36 Harijesy Razafindramahatra 19 Madagascar MAD