Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: July 30, 1984
Date Finished: July 30, 1984
The top 100 butterflyer in 1982-83 had been the United States' [Matt Gribble]. After winning the 1982 World Championships, he had set the world record of 53.44 in 1983 and bettered 54 seconds six times, the only swimmer in the world to break that barrier. He made the US team but placed second at the Olympic Trials to [Pablo Morales], who broke the world record in winning, recording 53.38. But Gribble was injured in Los Angeles, having hurt his back, and his coach commented, "The Trials was a miracle swim for him. He hadn't done any sprint work and not yardage since his injury. He was swimming off his background." Gribble would sadly fail to qualify for the Olympic final.
But [Michael GroÃ] was so good at the Olympics that he likely may have won even facing a top-notch Gribble. The day before this race he had won the 200 freestyle in world record time. Morales was ahead at the wall in 24.76, ahead of his world record pace, and had Â½-a-bodylength on GroÃ. But he gradually closed the gap and regained the lead 10 metres from the wall, outtouching Morales in 53.08, another world record, as Morales was also under the old standard, with 53.23. The final was fast, very fast, as every swimmer except eighth-place finisher [Bengt Baron] (SWE), the 1980 Olympic champ in the 100 back, recorded a personal best and a national record.