| Event type

100 metres Backstroke, Men

Date21 – 22 October 1968
LocationAlberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez, Ciudad de México
Participants37 from 26 countries

The top American was Charlie Hickcox who had set two world records in the event in 1967. But the favorite was East German Roland Matthes who had lowered the world record to 58.4 in September 1967. Matthes was not to be beaten. He took the lead early and defeated Hickcox by 1.5 seconds. Behind Hickcox, Americans Ronnie Mills and Larry Barbiere placed 3-4. Three days later Matthews would add the 200 backstroke gold medal. In 1972 he returned to win the Olympic backstroke double-double, winning both the 100 and 200 again in Munich. He tried to make it a triple in the 100 in 1976, but placed third behind John Naber in Montréal. During his career Matthews set 16 long-course world records in the 100 and 200 backstrokes.

1Roland MatthesGDR1:01.0 (1 h2)1:01.3 (1 h2)58.7 (1)Gold
2Charlie HickcoxUSA1:01.1 (1 h4)1:01.6 (1 h1)1:00.2 (2)Silver
3Ronnie MillsUSA1:01.8 (1 h6)1:01.8 (3 h2)1:00.5 (3)Bronze
4Larry BarbiereUSA1:01.9 (1 h1)1:01.6 (2 h2)1:01.1 (4)
5Jim ShawCAN1:01.8 (1 h3)1:01.9 (2 h1)1:01.4 (5)
6Bob SchoutsenNED1:02.8 (2 h6)1:02.1 (5 h2)1:01.8 (6)
7Reinhard BlechertFRG1:02.7 (3 h1)1:02.2 (3 h1)1:01.9 (7)
8Franco Del CampoITA1:02.3 (2 h4)1:02.1 (4 h2)1:02.0 (8)
9Karl ByromAUS1:03.2 (3 h6)1:02.3 (6 h2)
=10Santiago EstevaESP1:03.0 (2 h2)1:02.4 (7 h2)
=10Yury GromakURS1:03.2 (1 h5)1:02.4 (4 h1)
12Viktor MazanovURS1:03.1 (2 h3)1:02.5 (8 h2)
=13Franco ChinoITA1:02.0 (2 h1)1:02.7 (5 h1)
=13Danijel VrhovšekYUG1:02.9 (3 h4)1:02.7 (6 h1)
15Neil JacksonGBR1:03.0 (4 h4)1:02.8 (7 h1)
16Ejvind PedersenDEN1:03.5 (3 h2)1:03.6 (8 h1)
=17Leonardo BarenboimARG1:04.0 (2 h5)
=17Kishio TanakaJPN1:04.0 (4 h6)
19Roddy JonesGBR1:04.1 (3 h3)
=20José Joaquín SantibáñezMEX1:04.2 (4 h3)
=20Yevgeny SpiridonovURS1:04.2 (4 h2)
=22Herman VerbauwenBEL1:04.6 (5 h3)
=22César FilardiBRA1:04.6 (5 h6)
=22László Cseh, Sr.HUN1:04.6 (3 h5)
25Jesús CabreraESP1:04.8 (5 h2)
=26Jaime RiveraMEX1:05.1 (5 h5)
=26Hans TegebackSWE1:05.1 (4 h5)
28Gerald EvardSUI1:05.8 (5 h4)
29Gary GoodnerPUR1:06.3 (6 h3)
30Eliseo VidalCUB1:06.4 (6 h2)
31Luis Ángel AcostaMEX1:06.5 (4 h1)
32Francisco RamisPUR1:07.2 (6 h5)
33Ronnie WongHKG1:11.3 (7 h2)
34Yacoub MasboungiLBN1:11.6 (7 h3)
35Antonio CruzGUA1:11.8 (6 h6)
36Friedrich JokischESA1:13.7 (5 h1)
37Arturo CarranzaESA1:17.4 (6 h4)
DNSCarlos van der MaathARG– (DNS h1)
DNSPaul NashJAM– (DNS h4)

Round One (21 October 1968 — 10:00)

Fastest 16 advanced to the semi-finals.

Heat One

16Larry BarbiereUSA1:01.9Q
23Franco ChinoITA1:02.0Q
34Reinhard BlechertFRG1:02.7Q
42Luis Ángel AcostaMEX1:06.5
55Friedrich JokischESA1:13.7
DNSCarlos van der MaathARG

Heat Two

14Roland MatthesGDR1:01.0QOR
27Santiago EstevaESP1:03.0Q
31Ejvind PedersenDEN1:03.5Q
46Yevgeny SpiridonovURS1:04.2
52Jesús CabreraESP1:04.8
65Eliseo VidalCUB1:06.4
73Ronnie WongHKG1:11.3

Heat Three

12Jim ShawCAN1:01.8Q
26Viktor MazanovURS1:03.1Q
34Roddy JonesGBR1:04.1
41José Joaquín SantibáñezMEX1:04.2
57Herman VerbauwenBEL1:04.6
65Gary GoodnerPUR1:06.3
73Yacoub MasboungiLBN1:11.6

Heat Four

12Charlie HickcoxUSA1:01.1Q
23Franco Del CampoITA1:02.3Q
35Danijel VrhovšekYUG1:02.9Q
44Neil JacksonGBR1:03.0Q
57Gerald EvardSUI1:05.8
66Arturo CarranzaESA1:17.4

Heat Five

14Yury GromakURS1:03.2Q
23Leonardo BarenboimARG1:04.0
32László Cseh, Sr.HUN1:04.6
46Hans TegebackSWE1:05.1
55Jaime RiveraMEX1:05.1
67Francisco RamisPUR1:07.2

Heat Six

16Ronnie MillsUSA1:01.8Q
27Bob SchoutsenNED1:02.8Q
34Karl ByromAUS1:03.2Q
43Kishio TanakaJPN1:04.0
52César FilardiBRA1:04.6
65Antonio CruzGUA1:11.8

Semi-Finals (21 October 1968 — 17:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

14Charlie HickcoxUSA1:01.6Q
25Jim ShawCAN1:01.9Q
36Reinhard BlechertFRG1:02.2Q
41Yury GromakURS1:02.4
53Franco ChinoITA1:02.7
62Danijel VrhovšekYUG1:02.7
77Neil JacksonGBR1:02.8
88Ejvind PedersenDEN1:03.6

Heat Two

14Roland MatthesGDR1:01.3Q
23Larry BarbiereUSA1:01.6Q
35Ronnie MillsUSA1:01.8Q
46Franco Del CampoITA1:02.1Q
52Bob SchoutsenNED1:02.1Q
68Karl ByromAUS1:02.3
77Santiago EstevaESP1:02.4
81Viktor MazanovURS1:02.5

Final (22 October 1968 — 17:00)

14Roland MatthesGDR58.7OR
25Charlie HickcoxUSA1:00.2
36Ronnie MillsUSA1:00.5
43Larry BarbiereUSA1:01.1
52Jim ShawCAN1:01.4
61Bob SchoutsenNED1:01.8
78Reinhard BlechertFRG1:01.9
87Franco Del CampoITA1:02.0