Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 23, 1996
Date Finished: July 23, 1996
With one gold medal already in her locker, [Penny Heyns] of South Africa looked a clear favourite to win the breaststroke double. When she broke the Olympic record in the heats and qualified for the final with a time that was a second and a half ahead of anyone else it seemed her victory was a foregone conclusion.
If the rest of the world believed Heyns was unbeatable nobody had told 14-year-old [Amanda Beard] of the USA. Heyns led from the gun but the gap between her and Beard closed quickly in the closing stages and the South African had only a third of a second to spare at the finish. After her country had had waited 44 years for an Olympic gold Heyns had won two within 48 hours.