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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Breaststroke

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 20, 1996
Date Finished: July 20, 1996

Gold: BEL Fred Deburghgraeve
Silver: USA Jeremy Linn
Bronze: GER Mark Warnecke


For the first century of the Games Belgian swimmers had been the epitome of bit part players of the Olympic stage. Only a single bronze medal won by [Ingrid Lempereur] at the boycott hit 1984 Olympic Games had spoiled the nation’s run of failure.

At the Atlanta Games this changed in the first men’s final of the meet. [Fred Deburghgraeve] had made little impact on his Olympic début in 1992 but had made continuous progress ever since. A bronze medal at the 1994 World Championships had been followed in 1995 by a victory at the European Championships. Deburghgraeve’s heat swim was a statement of intent as he took a third of a second off [Károly Güttler] and was nearly a second faster than any of his rivals. World champion [Norbert Rózsa] failed to qualify for the final after placing only 17th in the heats.

Deburghgraeve’s approach to the final was simple – blast away from the gun and hope to hang on until the finish. The first part of the race went to plan but, as the wall approached, American [Jeremy Linn] moved through to challenge. A last lunge did the trick for the Belgian who became his nation’s first Olympic swimming champion.

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