Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 25, 1996
Date Finished: July 26, 1996
At the start of 1996 you could argue that Australia’s [Kieren Perkins] was the biggest “sure thing” of the entire swimming competitions. The 1992 champion had won every major title over the distance since Barcelona and also held the world record. Unfortunately for Perkins, the Olympic year had not been good to him and he had been beaten at the Australian trials over the distance and, additionally, had failed even to qualify for the 400 metres freestyle.
Even in the heats at Atlanta things looked bleak for the Australian as he only qualified for the final with 0.2 of a second to spare over the fifteen minute race. Perkins blamed his heat performance on at an attempt to qualify with the least effort which had the negative effect of spoiling his body posture and slowing him down more than desired.
He put things to right in the final and, after taking the lead almost from the gun, sped ahead and was never troubled again. His time was 15 seconds off his own world record but still good enough to take a clear victory over his rivals. The silver medal was decided on the final touch where Perkins’ compatriot [Daniel Kowalski] beat [Graeme Smith] of Great Britain by a 20th of a second.
|3||Graeme Smith||20||Great Britain||GBR||Bronze|
|5||Ryk Neethling||18||South Africa||RSA|
|10||Paul Palmer||21||Great Britain||GBR|
|12||Peter Wright||23||United States||USA|
|13||Carlton Bruner||24||United States||USA|
|17||Yann de Fabrique||23||France||FRA|
|25||Lee Gyu-Chang||17||South Korea||KOR|
|27||Scott Cameron||19||New Zealand||NZL|
|33||Hamid Reza Khani||17||Iran||IRI|
|34||Rashid Salim Al-Ma'Shari||18||Oman||OMA|