| Event type

100 metres Freestyle, Women

Date1 – 2 August 2012
LocationLondon Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Participants48 from 43 countries

After her 2008 Olympic title, Britta Steffen also won the 2009 world title. With the swimsuit craze at its zenith, she lowered the world record in Rome to a spectacular 52.07. With the new swimsuits banned from 2010, times dropped back into the 53-second range. At the 2011 World Championships, the title was shared between two outsiders, Aleksandra Gerasimenya and Jeanette Ottesen. Third then was Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who would become the first to swim below 53 seconds in the post-polyurethane era, when she clocked 52.75 in spring 2012. At the 4×100 m relay earlier in the Games, Kromowidjojo had by far clocked the fasted relay split, despite losing out to Australia’s Mel Schlanger in the final leg. Other favorites for the gold medal included Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström, 2012 European Champion and swimming 53.05 in late 2011, and home favorite Fran Halsall. Veteran swimmer Therese Alshammar suffered from a trapped nerve shortly before the Games, and decided to skip the event.

The semi-finals saw Steffen’s Olympic Record fall, Kromowidjojo lowering it to 53.05. Steffen herself was eliminated, as was Sjöström. Second best was Schlanger, three tenths back. In the final, it was Gerasimenya off to the best start, swimming from lane 1 (she had won the world title from lane 8). Kromowidjojo turned in fourth place, but had the best second leg and powered to 53.00, again lowering the Olympic record. Second was Gerasimenya, winning Belarus’ first Olympic medal in swimming, with Tang Yi claming a surprise bronze.

Born of a Surinamese father and a Dutch mother, Kromowidjojo won her first Olympic title at age 17 in Beijing with the Dutch relay team. The squad repeated at the 2009 and 2011 Worlds, but Kromowidjojo was yet to win an individual title in the 50 m pool. She did win two golds at the 2010 World Short Course Championships in Dubai. Earlier that year, she had been diagnosed with meningitis, causing her to miss the 2010 Europeans.

1Ranomi KromowidjojoNED53.66 (3 h7)53.05 (1 h2)53.00 (1)Gold
2Aliaksandra HerasimeniaBLR53.63 (2 h7)53.78 (2 h1)53.38 (2)Silver
3Tang YiCHN53.28 (1 h5)53.60 (3 h2)53.44 (3)Bronze
4Mel SchlangerAUS53.50 (1 h7)53.38 (1 h1)53.47 (4)
5Missy FranklinUSA54.26 (4 h7)53.59 (2 h2)53.64 (5)
6Fran HalsallGBR54.02 (2 h6)53.77 (=4 h2)53.66 (6)
7Jeanette Ottesen GrayDEN53.51 (2 h5)53.77 (=4 h2)53.75 (7)
8Jessica HardyUSA54.09 (3 h5)53.86 (3 h1)54.02 (8)
9Sarah SjöströmSWE54.26 (4 h6)53.93 (4 h1)
10Arianna Vanderpool-WallaceBAH53.73 (1 h6)54.12 (5 h1)
11Femke HeemskerkNED54.43 (=4 h5)54.13 (6 h2)
12Britta SteffenGER54.42 (6 h6)54.18 (6 h1)
13Julia WilkinsonCAN54.16 (3 h6)54.25 (7 h2)
14Amy SmithGBR54.37 (5 h6)54.28 (8 h2)
15Daniela SchreiberGER54.43 (=4 h5)54.39 (7 h1)
16Haruka UedaJPN54.35 (5 h7)54.59 (8 h1)
17Veronika PopovaRUS54.66 (6 h7)
18Hanna-Maria SeppäläFIN54.93 (7 h6)
19Pernille BlumeDEN55.04 (6 h5)
20Charlotte BonnetFRA55.12 (7 h7)
21Hannah WilsonHKG55.33 (7 h5)
22Burcu DolunayTUR55.35 (1 h4)
23Eszter DaraHUN55.37 (1 h3)
24Nina RangelovaBUL55.52 (2 h4)
25Liliana IbáñezMEX55.71 (2 h3)
26Daynara de PaulaBRA55.94 (3 h4)
27Katarzyna WilkPOL56.13 (4 h4)
28Nastja GovejšekSLO56.21 (3 h3)
=29Mylene OngSGP56.33 (4 h3)
=29Rūta MeilutytėLTU56.33 (5 h4)
31Katarína FilováSVK56.58 (6 h4)
32Nery Mantey NiagkkouaraGRE56.63 (8 h5)
33Arlene SemecoVEN56.90 (7 h4)
34Jasmine AlkhaldiPHI57.13 (5 h3)
=35Miroslava NajdanovskiSRB57.45 (8 h4)
=35Megan FontenoASA57.45 (6 h3)
37Karen TorrezBOL57.78 (7 h3)
38Clelia TiniSMR58.29 (8 h3)
39Jade HowardZAM59.35 (1 h2)
40Bayan JumahSYR59.78 (2 h2)
41Karen RiverosPAR59.86 (3 h2)
42Britany van LangeGUY1:01.62 (4 h2)
43Aina Fils RabetsaraMAD1:02.39 (5 h2)
44Reshika UdugampolaSRI1:04.93 (6 h2)
45Magdalena MoshiTAN1:05.80 (7 h2)
46Mareme FayeSEN1:06.42 (1 h1)
47Shreya DhitalNEP1:10.80 (2 h1)
48Ayouba Ali SihameCOM1:14.40 (3 h1)
DNSTherèse AlshammarSWE– (DNS h7)
DNSCate CampbellAUS– (DNS h6)

Round One (1 August 2012 — 10:00)

Fastest 16 swimmers advanced to semi-finals

Heat One (10:00)

14Mareme FayeSEN1:06.420.82
25Shreya DhitalNEP1:10.800.87
33Ayouba Ali SihameCOM1:14.400.84

Heat Two (10:03)

13Jade HowardZAM59.350.73
25Bayan JumahSYR59.780.74
34Karen RiverosPAR59.860.66
46Britany van LangeGUY1:01.620.76
52Aina Fils RabetsaraMAD1:02.390.75
67Reshika UdugampolaSRI1:04.930.64
71Magdalena MoshiTAN1:05.800.78

Heat Three (10:06)

14Eszter DaraHUN55.370.78
25Liliana IbáñezMEX55.710.73
33Nastja GovejšekSLO56.210.69
42Mylene OngSGP56.330.67
56Jasmine AlkhaldiPHI57.130.83
61Megan FontenoASA57.450.65
77Karen TorrezBOL57.780.62
88Clelia TiniSMR58.290.68

Heat Four (10:09)

14Burcu DolunayTUR55.350.71
22Nina RangelovaBUL55.520.73
36Daynara de PaulaBRA55.940.60
43Katarzyna WilkPOL56.130.66
57Rūta MeilutytėLTU56.330.58
68Katarína FilováSVK56.580.70
75Arlene SemecoVEN56.900.76
81Miroslava NajdanovskiSRB57.450.76

Heat Five (10:11)

13Tang YiCHN53.280.72Q
24Jeanette Ottesen GrayDEN53.510.70Q
36Jessica HardyUSA54.090.71Q
=45Femke HeemskerkNED54.430.81Q
=47Daniela SchreiberGER54.430.79Q
62Pernille BlumeDEN55.040.69
71Hannah WilsonHKG55.330.65
88Nery Mantey NiagkkouaraGRE56.630.72

Heat Six (10:14)

17Arianna Vanderpool-WallaceBAH53.730.65Q
25Fran HalsallGBR54.020.69Q
31Julia WilkinsonCAN54.160.71Q
44Sarah SjöströmSWE54.260.71Q
52Amy SmithGBR54.370.65Q
63Britta SteffenGER54.420.72Q
78Hanna-Maria SeppäläFIN54.930.72
DNS6Cate CampbellAUS

Heat Seven (10:17)

16Mel SchlangerAUS53.500.71Q
25Aliaksandra HerasimeniaBLR53.630.70Q
34Ranomi KromowidjojoNED53.660.75Q
43Missy FranklinUSA54.260.78Q
52Haruka UedaJPN54.350.76Q
67Veronika PopovaRUS54.660.73
78Charlotte BonnetFRA55.120.73
DNS1Therèse AlshammarSWE

Semi-Finals (1 August 2012 — 19:40)

Fastest eight swimmers advanced to final

Heat One (19:40)

14Mel SchlangerAUS53.380.73Q
25Aliaksandra HerasimeniaBLR53.780.73Q
36Jessica HardyUSA53.860.69Q
42Sarah SjöströmSWE53.930.72
53Arianna Vanderpool-WallaceBAH54.120.66
61Britta SteffenGER54.180.71
78Daniela SchreiberGER54.390.84
87Haruka UedaJPN54.590.78

Heat Two (19:45)

13Ranomi KromowidjojoNED53.050.79QOR
27Missy FranklinUSA53.590.75Q
34Tang YiCHN53.600.71Q
=45Jeanette Ottesen GrayDEN53.770.70Q
=46Fran HalsallGBR53.770.69Q
68Femke HeemskerkNED54.130.82
72Julia WilkinsonCAN54.250.69
81Amy SmithGBR54.280.66

Final (2 August 2012 — 20:37)

14Ranomi KromowidjojoNED53.000.77OR
21Aliaksandra HerasimeniaBLR53.380.74
36Tang YiCHN53.440.71
45Mel SchlangerAUS53.470.73
53Missy FranklinUSA53.640.78
67Fran HalsallGBR53.660.70
72Jeanette Ottesen GrayDEN53.750.70
88Jessica HardyUSA54.020.72