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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.

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