Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: August 1, 2012
Date Finished: August 2, 2012
After her 2008 Olympic title, Britta Steffen also won the 2009 world title. With the swimsuit craze at its zenith, she lowered the world record in Rome to a spectacular 52.07. With the new swimsuits banned from 2010, times dropped back into the 53-second range. At the 2011 World Championships, the title was shared between two outsiders, Aleksandra Gerasimenya and Jeanette Ottesen. Third then was Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who would become the first to swim below 53 seconds in the post-polyurethane era, when she clocked 52.75 in spring 2012. At the 4×100 m relay earlier in the Games, Kromowidjojo had by far clocked the fasted relay split, despite losing out to Australia's Mel Schlanger in the final leg. Other favorites for the gold medal included Sweden's Sarah Sjöström, 2012 European Champion and swimming 53.05 in late 2011, and home favorite Fran Halsall. Veteran swimmer Therese Alshammar suffered from a trapped nerve shortly before the Games, and decided to skip the event.
The semi-finals saw Steffen's Olympic Record fall, Kromowidjojo lowering it to 53.05. Steffen herself was eliminated, as was Sjöström. Second best was Schlanger, three tenths back. In the final, it was Gerasimenya off to the best start, swimming from lane 1 (she had won the world title from lane 8). Kromowidjojo turned in fourth place, but had the best second leg and powered to 53.00, again lowering the Olympic record. Second was Gerasimenya, winning Belarus' first Olympic medal in swimming, with Tang Yi claming a surprise bronze.
Born of a Surinamese father and a Dutch mother, Kromowidjojo won her first Olympic title at age 17 in Beijing with the Dutch relay team. The squad repeated at the 2009 and 2011 Worlds, but Kromowidjojo was yet to win an individual title in the 50 m pool. She did win two golds at the 2010 World Short Course Championships in Dubai. Earlier that year, she had been diagnosed with meningitis, causing her to miss the 2010 Europeans.
|5||Missy Franklin||17||United States||USA|
|6||Fran Halsall||22||Great Britain||GBR|
|7||Jeanette Ottesen Gray||24||Denmark||DEN|
|8||Jessica Hardy||25||United States||USA|
|14||Amy Smith||25||Great Britain||GBR|
|21||Hannah Wilson||23||Hong Kong||HKG|
|26||Daynara de Paula||23||Brazil||BRA|
|32||Nery Mantey Niangkouara||29||Greece||GRE|
|35T||Megan Fonteno||19||American Samoa||ASA|
|37||Karen Milenka Torrez Guzman||19||Bolivia||BOL|
|38||Clelia Tini||20||San Marino||SMR|
|42||Britany van Lange||15||Guyana||GUY|
|43||Aina Fils Rabetsara||18||Madagascar||MAD|
|44||Reshika Udugampola||18||Sri Lanka||SRI|
|48||Sihame Ayouba Ali||17||Comoros||COM|