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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Women's 50 metres Freestyle

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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 Amy Van Dyken
Silver: CHN Le Jingyi
Bronze: GER Sandra Völker

Summary

[Le Jingyi] of China had already won the 100 metres freestyle whilst America’s [Amy Van Dyken] had scored an upset victory in the 100 metres butterfly. The two women would meet again in the final of the 50 metres but could not count on having things all their own way as the final was a star-studded affair that included all the medalists from the 100 metre freestyle held earlier in the week.

Part of the ultra-competitive Van Dyken’s pre-race routine involved staring at her opponents in an attempt to intimidate them but this did not appear to work on the Chinese woman who went into the lead straight from the gun. For 45 metres Le held on to first place but in the closing metres Van Dyken accelerated past to win her third gold medal of the Games by just three hundredths of a second. [Sandra Völker] of Germany also won her third medal of the games by winning bronze in this race.