Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: July 28, 2012
Date Finished: July 29, 2012
|Gold:||Cameron van der Burgh|
Something was missing in this event. The 2011 World Champion was Norwegian Alexander Dale Oen, who had won a silver medal in this event in 2008. Training in Flagstaff, Arizona in April 2012, Oen collapsed in his shower after a morning swim, and died later that day. The swimming world mourned the loss of the popular Norwegian who would have been favored in London in the 100 breast.
But something was back in two-time defending champion Kosuke Kitajima of Japan, and another surprise returnee was American Brendan Hansen. Hansen had competed at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, but had always struggled to defeat Kitajima and had won silver in this event in 2004 and placed fourth in 2008. He retired after the 2008 Olympics, with two relay gold medals but no individual golds, and that gnawed at him. He returned to the water in 2011 attempting to fill that one hole in his swimming résumé, and won the US titles in the 100 and 200 breast in 2011 and qualified for the 2012 US Olympic team.
Both Kitajima and Hansen made the final as did Australian Brenton Rickard, who had set the world record of 58.58 in 2009. Also in the final was Italy's Fabio Scozzoli, second to Oen at the 2011 Worlds, and South African Cameron van der Burgh, who had won bronze medals at the 2011 Worlds in both the 50 and 100 breaststroke events. Kitajima started the final in the early lead but had nothing left, was only fifth at the wall, and would finish fifth. Van der Burgh blasted to 27.07 at the wall, more than ½-second ahead of Rickard's world record split, and would maintain that to win in a world record 58.46. The silver went to Australian Christian Sprenger, while Hansen finished third for the bronze medal, despite swimming in lane eight. Rickard placed sixth with Scozzoli seventh.
After he finished, van der Burgh gave a skyward salute, paying homage to his close friend, Alexander Dale Oen.
|1||Cameron van der Burgh||24||South Africa||RSA||Gold|
|3||Brendan Hansen||30||United States||USA||Bronze|
|9||Michael Jamieson||23||Great Britain||GBR|
|11||Eric Shanteau||28||United States||USA|
|12||Felipe França Silva||25||Brazil||BRA|
|14||Craig Benson||18||Great Britain||GBR|
|15||Glenn Snyders||25||New Zealand||NZL|
|19||Christian vom Lehn||20||Germany||GER|
|42||Mubarak Al-Besher||24||United Arab Emirates||UAE|