| Event type

100 metres Backstroke, Men

Date18 – 19 July 1976
LocationPiscine olympique, Montréal, Québec
Participants41 from 28 countries

Swimming World called this the race between the old legend, Roland Matthes, and the developing legend, John Naber. Matthes till held the world record, set in the Munich medley relay, but in 1974 Naber had defeated him, ending his 7-year unbeaten streak in the 100 backstroke. However, Matthes had won the world title in this event in both 1973 and 1975. The two legends qualified 1-2 in round one, Naber posting 56.80 to lead the preliminary round. Then in the semi-finals, Naber posted 56.19 to better the Matthes’ world record. The final saw Matthes make two false starts, but on the legit start Naber went out the fastest, leading to the wall in 26.55, well ahead of his semi-final world record pace and almost a full second of Matthews. The pace seemed unsustainable but sustain it Naber did, finishing in 55.49 for the world record. Behind him, Matthes was unable to keep up with another American, Peter Rocca, who placed second, the bronze going to the East German. A few days later, Matthews would scratch from the 200 backstroke, which Naber would also win, with Rocca adding another silver medal.

1John NaberUSA56.80 (1 h6)56.19 (1 h2)55.49 (1)Gold
2Peter RoccaUSA58.12 (2 h5)56.88 (2 h2)56.34 (2)Silver
3Roland MatthesGDR57.98 (1 h4)57.48 (1 h1)57.22 (3)Bronze
4Carlos BerrocalPUR58.71 (1 h2)57.53 (3 h2)57.28 (4)
5Lutz WanjaGDR58.38 (1 h1)57.50 (2 h1)57.49 (5)
6Bob JacksonUSA58.02 (1 h3)57.65 (3 h1)57.69 (6)
7Mark KerryAUS57.99 (1 h5)58.04 (4 h2)57.94 (7)
8Mark TonelliAUS58.53 (2 h1)58.14 (4 h1)58.42 (8)
9Glenn PatchingAUS59.49 (2 h4)58.15 (5 h2)
10Steve PickellCAN59.65 (3 h2)58.21 (5 h1)
11Rômulo ArantesBRA58.46 (2 h3)58.49 (6 h2)
12Zoltán VerrasztóHUN59.30 (2 h6)58.63 (7 h2)
13Igor Omelchenk'oURS59.03 (3 h5)58.77 (6 h1)
14Paul JouanneauBRA59.35 (2 h2)59.59 (7 h1)
15Santiago EstevaESP59.88 (3 h6)59.71 (8 h2)
16Ryszard ŻugajPOL1:00.16 (3 h4)59.90 (8 h1)
17Krasimir StoykovBUL1:00.24 (4 h6)
18Jim CarterGBR1:00.39 (3 h3)
19Miloslav RoľkoTCH1:00.41 (3 h1)
20Reinhold BeckerFRG1:00.57 (4 h5)
21Róbert RudolfHUN1:00.58 (4 h4)
22Gary AbrahamGBR1:00.61 (4 h3)
23Steve HardyCAN1:00.69 (4 h1)
24Nenad MilošYUG1:00.70 (5 h4)
25Rob HowardIRL1:00.77 (5 h3)
26Ignacio ÁlvarezMEX1:00.80 (5 h6)
27José UruetaMEX1:00.85 (4 h2)
28Tadashi HondaJPN1:01.00 (5 h1)
=29Mikael BrandénSWE1:01.05 (5 h2)
=29Predrag MilošYUG1:01.05 (5 h5)
31Conrado PortaARG1:01.13 (6 h5)
32Ramón VolcánVEN1:01.20 (6 h4)
33Enrico BissoITA1:01.32 (6 h6)
34Mike ScarthCAN1:01.33 (6 h3)
35Lionel Beylot-BourcelotFRA1:01.58 (7 h4)
36Thomas HoferSUI1:01.90 (7 h6)
37Gerardo RosarioPHI1:02.08 (7 h5)
38Ivan MikolutskyURS1:03.86 (6 h1)
39António Botelho de MeloPOR1:05.76 (7 h3)
40Chiang Jin ChoonMAS1:05.86 (6 h2)
41Frank RichardsonNCA1:12.38 (7 h1)
DNSHsu Tung-HsiungTPE– (DNS h2)

Round One (18 July 1976 — 9:30)

Fastest 16 advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

14Lutz WanjaGDR58.38Q
25Mark TonelliAUS58.53Q
36Miloslav RoľkoTCH1:00.41
43Steve HardyCAN1:00.69
57Tadashi HondaJPN1:01.00
62Ivan MikolutskyURS1:03.86
71Frank RichardsonNCA1:12.38

Heat Two

15Carlos BerrocalPUR58.71Q
23Paul JouanneauBRA59.35Q
34Steve PickellCAN59.65Q
42José UruetaMEX1:00.85
56Mikael BrandénSWE1:01.05
61Chiang Jin ChoonMAS1:05.86
DNS7Hsu Tung-HsiungTPE

Heat Three

14Bob JacksonUSA58.02Q
25Rômulo ArantesBRA58.46Q
32Jim CarterGBR1:00.39
46Gary AbrahamGBR1:00.61
57Rob HowardIRL1:00.77
63Mike ScarthCAN1:01.33
71António Botelho de MeloPOR1:05.76

Heat Four

14Roland MatthesGDR57.98Q
25Glenn PatchingAUS59.49Q
36Ryszard ŻugajPOL1:00.16Q
43Róbert RudolfHUN1:00.58
57Nenad MilošYUG1:00.70
61Ramón VolcánVEN1:01.20
72Lionel Beylot-BourcelotFRA1:01.58

Heat Five

15Mark KerryAUS57.99Q
24Peter RoccaUSA58.12Q
33Igor Omelchenk'oURS59.03Q
46Reinhold BeckerFRG1:00.57
57Predrag MilošYUG1:01.05
62Conrado PortaARG1:01.13
71Gerardo RosarioPHI1:02.08

Heat Six

14John NaberUSA56.80Q
25Zoltán VerrasztóHUN59.30Q
33Santiago EstevaESP59.88Q
42Krasimir StoykovBUL1:00.24
57Ignacio ÁlvarezMEX1:00.80
66Enrico BissoITA1:01.32
71Thomas HoferSUI1:01.90

Semi-Finals (18 July 1976 — 19:15)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

14Roland MatthesGDR57.48Q
23Lutz WanjaGDR57.50Q
35Bob JacksonUSA57.65Q
46Mark TonelliAUS58.14Q
51Steve PickellCAN58.21
62Igor Omelchenk'oURS58.77
77Paul JouanneauBRA59.59
88Ryszard ŻugajPOL59.90

Heat Two

14John NaberUSA56.19QWR
23Peter RoccaUSA56.88Q
32Carlos BerrocalPUR57.53Q
45Mark KerryAUS58.04Q
51Glenn PatchingAUS58.15
66Rômulo ArantesBRA58.49
77Zoltán VerrasztóHUN58.63
88Santiago EstevaESP59.71

Final (19 July 1976 — 19:30)

14John NaberUSA55.49WR
25Peter RoccaUSA56.34
33Roland MatthesGDR57.22
42Carlos BerrocalPUR57.28
56Lutz WanjaGDR57.49
67Bob JacksonUSA57.69
71Mark KerryAUS57.94
88Mark TonelliAUS58.42