Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 21, 1996
Date Finished: July 21, 1996
Even if the Olympics had not been in his home country [Tom Dolan] would have been a strong favourite. The swimmer had not lost a race since 1993 and was the reigning World Championship and Pan-Pacific gold medalist in addition to holding the world record in the event. However Dolan was not at his best in Atlanta and the final developed into a much closer race than predicted. [Curtis Myden] of Canada led Dolan and fellow American [Eric Namesnik] after the butterfly leg with the two US swimmers then gaining on the Canadian over the next 100 metres.
At half way Dolan and Nemesnik were absolutely level and the lead swapped back and forth for the next three lengths of the pool. Over the last 50 metres the two men battled furiously and Dolan just had enough left for victory, as Myden held on for third place. Both Dolan, Nemesnik and fifth place finisher [Marcel Wouda] were alumni of the University of Michigan.