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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Women's 100 metres Breaststroke

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 21, 1996
Date Finished: July 21, 1996

Gold: RSA Penny Heyns
Silver: USA Amanda Beard
Bronze: AUS Sam Riley

Summary

It had been 44 years since South Africa had won an Olympic gold medal but in Penny Heyns they had the woman who had set the world record four months earlier. Lined up against her were world champion Sam Riley of Australia and the precocious 14-year-old Amanda Beard of the USA. Riley nearly failed to make it to Atlanta when she failed a drug test in February 1996. Her coach had given her a painkiller to treat a headache without realizing it contained the banned substance dextropropoxyphen. She was subsequently issued only a warning but her coach received a one-year ban.

Heyns’ Olympic campaign started with a bang as she broke her own her world record to qualify for the final but faltered when she made a basic error in the final where she badly mistimed her turn. Beard threatened to take the lead over the home stretch but Heyns fought back and reached the wall with a third of a second to spare over her American rival to the acclaim of her home nation. Riley finished a distant third.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Penny Heyns 21 South Africa RSA Gold
2 Amanda Beard 14 United States USA Silver
3 Sam Riley 23 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Svitlana Bondarenko 24 Ukraine UKR
5 Vera Lischka 19 Austria AUT
6 Guylaine Cloutier 24 Canada CAN
7 Ágnes Kovács 15 Hungary HUN
8 Brigitte Becue 23 Belgium BEL
9 Han Xue 14 China CHN
10 Lisa Flood 24 Canada CAN
11 Helen Denman 19 Australia AUS
12 Elin Austevoll 21 Norway NOR
13 Masami Tanaka 17 Japan JPN
14 Alicja Pęczak 26 Poland POL
15 Manuela Dalla Valle 33 Italy ITA
16 Hanna Jaltner 20 Sweden SWE
17 Jaime King 19 Great Britain GBR
18 Julia Russell 21 South Africa RSA
19 Kristine Quance 21 United States USA
20 Terrie Miller 18 Norway NOR
21 Madelon Baans 18 Netherlands NED
22 Kyoko Iwasaki 17 Japan JPN
23 Maria Östling 18 Sweden SWE
24 Yuan Yuan 20 China CHN
25 Karine Brémond 21 France FRA
26 Kathrin Dumitru 15 Germany GER
27 Olga Landik 16 Russia RUS
28 María Olay 18 Spain ESP
29 Lenka Maňhalová 21 Czech Republic CZE
30 Byeon Hye-Yeong 13 South Korea KOR
31 Anna Wilson 19 New Zealand NZL
32 Mia Hagman 16 Finland FIN
33 Yelena Rudkovskaya 23 Belarus BLR
34 Joana Soutinho 18 Portugal POR
35 Larisa Lăcusţă 16 Romania ROU
36 Tay Li Leng 14 Malaysia MAS
37 Natália Kodajová 27 Slovakia SVK
38 Isabel Ceballos 17 Colombia COL
39 Mou Ying-Hsin 18 Chinese Taipei TPE
40 Joscelin Yeo 17 Singapore SIN
41 Snowie Pang 18 Hong Kong HKG
42 María Carolina Santa Cruz 17 Argentina ARG
43 Nádia Cruz 21 Angola ANG
44 Cerian Gibbes 13 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
45 Anush Manukyan 26 Armenia ARM
46 Hem Reaksmey 12 Cambodia CAM