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Swimming at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Backstroke

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: July 21, 1980

Gold: SWE Bengt Baron
Silver: URS Viktor Kuznetsov
Bronze: URS Volodymyr Dolhov


No one approached the Olympic and world record set by [John Naber] in Montréal and, in fact, nobody would better that mark until [Rick Carey] in 1983. In the Americans absence it was difficult to choose a favorite, but one swimmer not considered was Sweden’s [Bengt Baron], who had never majored at any major international event, and a personal best of only 57.77 coming into Moscow, and was not in the world’s top 25 in 1979. In the semis his best mark that with 57.51 to qualify second behind Soviet [Viktor Kuznetsov], who was also little known but set a USSR record with 56.75. In the final Baron stunned with 56.53 for the gold medal, and noted, “I still can’t believe it and it will take some time before it really sinks in. I would never have thought I could win an Olympic gold medal, at least not here and today. I just can’t understand how I did it.” Baron would go on to much greater success, earning an MBA from U Cal Berkeley, and in 2001 he was named President and CEO of Absolut Vodka.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalSemi-FinalsRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Bengt Baron 18 Sweden SWE Gold
2 Viktor Kuznetsov 19 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Volodymyr Dolhov 20 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Miloslav Roľko 19 Czechoslovakia TCH
5 Sándor Wladár 17 Hungary HUN
6 Fred Eefting 21 Netherlands NED
7 Mark Tonelli 23 Australia AUS
8 Gary Abraham 21 Great Britain GBR
3 h2 r2/3 Mark Kerry 20 Australia AUS
4 h2 r2/3 Michael Söderlund 18 Sweden SWE
5 h2 r2/3 Rômulo Arantes Filho 23 Brazil BRA
6 h2 r2/3 Douglas Campbell 19 Great Britain GBR
7 h1 r2/3 Zoltán Verrasztó 24 Hungary HUN
7 h2 r2/3 Dietmar Göhring 20 East Germany GDR
8 h1 r2/3 Paul Marshall 19 Great Britain GBR
8 h2 r2/3 Glenn Patching 22 Australia AUS
3 h2 r1/3 Jörg Stingl 19 East Germany GDR
4 h1 r1/3 Branimir Popov 18 Bulgaria BUL
4 h2 r1/3 Frédéric Delcourt 16 France FRA
4 h4 r1/3 Vladimir Shemetov 16 Soviet Union URS
5 h1 r1/3 Nenad Miloš 25 Yugoslavia YUG
5 h2 r1/3 Herwig Bayer 17 Austria AUT
5 h3 r1/3 Rui Abreu 19 Portugal POR
5 h4 r1/3 Franky De Groote 21 Belgium BEL
5 h5 r1/3 Mihai Mandache 19 Romania ROU
6 h1 r1/3 Róbert Rudolf 23 Hungary HUN
6 h2 r1/3 Ricardo Prado 15 Brazil BRA
6 h3 r1/3 Pedro Cruz 13 Mozambique MOZ
6 h4 r1/3 Jorge Lima 13 Angola ANG
6 h5 r1/3 Moisés Gosálvez 20 Spain ESP
7 h1 r1/3 Daniel Ayora 16 Peru PER
7 h2 r1/3 Lakis Fylaktou 16 Cyprus CYP
7 h5 r1/3 Lâm Văn Hoành 16 Vietnam VIE