Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 22, 1996
Date Finished: July 22, 1996
|Silver:||Gary Hall, Jr.|
[Aleksandr Popov] had won every major championship at both 50 and 100 metres title since winning the Olympic title four years earlier in Barcelona so it was obvious that he would start as a hot favourite.
The only real threat to Popov was [Gary Hall, Jr.], an American with whom Popov had a spikey relationship. As expected the two men led the qualifying times and were placed next to each other for the final. At 50 metres Hall enjoyed a small lead over Popov but this was lost when the Russian made the better turn. Hall responded and pulled level but a finishing burst from Popov was decisive and he became the first man to retain the Olympic 100 metres freestyle title since [Johnny Weissmuller] in 1924. [Gustavo Borges] of Brazil added a bronze medal to the silver medal he won in the same event in 1992.