| Event type

100 metres Freestyle, Men

Date31 July 1984
LocationOlympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Participants68 from 44 countries

In 1980 Rowdy Gaines was the best sprint swimmer in the world and was expected to win four gold medals, until Jimmy Carter told him he could not compete in Moscow. He was World Swimmer of the Year in 1980, and in 1981 finally bettered the 100 freestyle world record with 49.36. By 1984 he was not the swimmer he had been in 1980 but hoped to make up for having to miss the 1980 Olympics. In the end he came through for the gold medal but not without some controversy. The runner-up was Australian Mark Stockwell, and he was upset, thinking the start had not been fair, “I don’t want to take away anything from Rowdy. I mean, he’s great. He’s been around for a long time and he knows what to look out for. It just wasn’t a fair start.” Stockwell’s teammate Peter Evans, not in this event, was furious, telling him, “You were robbed, mate.”

The starter had been Panamanian Frank Silvestri who had done similar duty at the 1982 World Championships and 1983 Pan American Games, and the American coaches knew of him. They knew he was quick on the trigger for the start and had warned Gaines to be ready. Anticipating that Gaines had an early lead and hung on in the final 25 metres, telling himself, “I can’t stop now, this is my last 25 ever.” In the end the Australian protest was disallowed and Gaines won the gold medal with Stockwell taking silver. Gaines’ time of 49.80 broke the Olympic record set in 1976 by Jim Montgomery, which was the first time the 50-second barrier had been broken.

PosSwimmerNOCR1B FinalFinal
1Rowdy GainesUSA50.41 (1 h8)49.80 (1)Gold
2Mark StockwellAUS50.27 (1 h6)50.24 (2)Silver
3Per JohanssonSWE50.57 (1 h5)50.31 (3)Bronze
4Mike HeathUSA50.39 (1 h9)50.41 (4)
5Dano HalsallSUI50.91 (2 h6)50.50 (5)
=6Stéphan CaronFRA51.13 (1 h3)50.70 (=6)
=6Alberto MestreVEN50.99 (1 h1)50.70 (=6)
8Dirk KorthalsFRG51.02 (1 h2)50.93 (8)
9Ang Peng SiongSGP51.66 (2 h3)51.09 (1)
10Stéfan VolérySUI51.24 (2 h2)51.42 (2)
11David LoweGBR51.68 (2 h4)51.48 (3)
12Fabrizio RampazzoITA51.71 (3 h8)51.56 (4)
=13Hans KroesNED51.19 (1 h7)51.64 (=5)
=13Thomas LejdströmSWE51.19 (2 h9)51.64 (=5)
15Edsard SchlingemannNED51.33 (2 h8)51.74 (7)
16Peter RohdeDEN51.40 (3 h6)51.98 (8)
17Michael DelanyAUS51.22 (1 h4)1
18Cyro DelgadoBRA51.74 (3 h3)
19Fernando CanalesPUR51.75 (2 h7)
20Alexander SchowtkaFRG51.78 (3 h7)
21Paul EasterGBR51.83 (2 h1)
22Dave ChurchillCAN51.85 (3 h9)
23Ramiro EstradaMEX52.07 (4 h6)
24Franz MortensenDEN52.22 (3 h2)
25Alexander PilhatschAUT52.25 (3 h1)
26Marco ColomboITA52.34 (4 h8)
27Tony PortelaPUR52.47 (4 h3)
28Ronald MenezesBRA52.49 (3 h4)
29Blair HickenCAN52.74 (2 h5)
30Michael MiaoTPE52.76 (4 h4)
31Mu LatiCHN52.82 (3 h5)
32Shen JianqiangCHN52.84 (4 h9)
33Shigeo OgataJPN52.96 (5 h4)
34Mohamed YoussefEGY53.19 (5 h9)
35Kemal Sadri ÖzünTUR53.39 (5 h6)
36Johnny LiHKG53.48 (4 h1)
37Sean NottageBAH53.66 (4 h5)
38Fabián FerrariARG53.69 (5 h8)
39Satoshi SumidaJPN53.83 (4 h2)
40Hilton WoodsAHO53.92 (5 h3)
41Lukman NiodeINA54.10 (6 h8)
42Oon Jin GeeSGP54.17 (5 h1)
43Gökhan AttaroğluTUR54.22 (5 h5)
44Fernando RodríguezPER54.61 (4 h7)
=45William WilsonPHI54.63 (5 h2)
=45Deryck MarksJAM54.63 (6 h9)
47Erik RosskopfISV54.80 (6 h3)
48César SánchezMEX54.94 (5 h7)
49Anthony NestySUR54.99 (6 h6)
50Ahmed SaidEGY55.01 (6 h5)
51Evert KroonAHO55.20 (6 h2)
52Gordon ScarlettJAM55.34 (6 h7)
53Collier WoolardISV55.67 (6 h4)
54Samuela TupouFIJ55.85 (7 h5)
55Ingi JónssonISL56.31 (6 h1)
56Jean-Luc AdornoMON56.38 (7 h7)
57Warren SorbyFIJ56.75 (7 h8)
58Rodrigo LealGUA56.80 (7 h3)
59Khaled Al-AssafKUW56.91 (7 h6)
60Ernesto José DegenhartGUA57.20 (7 h4)
61Hamad BaderBRN58.16 (8 h8)
62Trevor NcalaSWZ58.22 (8 h7)
63Michele PivaSMR59.26 (7 h9)
64Rodolfo TorresHON1:00.92 (8 h5)
65Domingos ChivaveleMOZ1:01.35 (8 h6)
66Percy SayeghLBN1:01.88 (7 h2)
67Rami KantariLBN1:01.96 (7 h1)
68Daniel MulumbaUGA1:07.86 (8 h9)

Round One (31 July 1984 — 9:10)

Fastest eight advanced to the final. Places 9-16 advanced to the B Final.

Heat One

14Alberto MestreVEN50.99Q
23Paul EasterGBR51.83
35Alexander PilhatschAUT52.25
46Johnny LiHKG53.48
52Oon Jin GeeSGP54.17
67Ingi JónssonISL56.31
71Rami KantariLBN1:01.96

Heat Two

13Dirk KorthalsFRG51.02Q
24Stéfan VolérySUI51.24q
35Franz MortensenDEN52.22
46Satoshi SumidaJPN53.83
57William WilsonPHI54.63
62Evert KroonAHO55.20
71Percy SayeghLBN1:01.88

Heat Three

14Stéphan CaronFRA51.13Q
23Ang Peng SiongSGP51.66q
35Cyro DelgadoBRA51.74
46Tony PortelaPUR52.47
52Hilton WoodsAHO53.92
67Erik RosskopfISV54.80
71Rodrigo LealGUA56.80

Heat Four

14Michael DelanyAUS51.22q
23David LoweGBR51.68
35Ronald MenezesBRA52.49
42Michael MiaoTPE52.76
56Shigeo OgataJPN52.96
67Collier WoolardISV55.67
71Ernesto José DegenhartGUA57.20

Heat Five

13Per JohanssonSWE50.57Q
25Blair HickenCAN52.74
36Mu LatiCHN52.82
44Sean NottageBAH53.66
52Gökhan AttaroğluTUR54.22
67Ahmed SaidEGY55.01
71Samuela TupouFIJ55.85
88Rodolfo TorresHON1:00.92

Heat Six

14Mark StockwellAUS50.27Q
23Dano HalsallSUI50.91Q
35Peter RohdeDEN51.40q
46Ramiro EstradaMEX52.07
52Kemal Sadri ÖzünTUR53.39
67Anthony NestySUR54.99
71Khaled Al-AssafKUW56.91
88Domingos ChivaveleMOZ1:01.35

Heat Seven

15Hans KroesNED51.19q
24Fernando CanalesPUR51.75
33Alexander SchowtkaFRG51.78
42Fernando RodríguezPER54.61
57César SánchezMEX54.94
66Gordon ScarlettJAM55.34
71Jean-Luc AdornoMON56.38
88Trevor NcalaSWZ58.22

Heat Eight

14Rowdy GainesUSA50.41Q
23Edsard SchlingemannNED51.33q
35Fabrizio RampazzoITA51.71q
46Marco ColomboITA52.34
52Fabián FerrariARG53.69
67Lukman NiodeINA54.10
71Warren SorbyFIJ56.75
88Hamad BaderBRN58.16

Heat Nine

14Mike HeathUSA50.39Q
25Thomas LejdströmSWE51.19q
33Dave ChurchillCAN51.85
42Shen JianqiangCHN52.84
57Mohamed YoussefEGY53.19
66Deryck MarksJAM54.63
78Michele PivaSMR59.26
81Daniel MulumbaUGA1:07.86

B Final (31 July 1984 — 16:40)

17Ang Peng SiongSGP51.09
23Stéfan VolérySUI51.42
31David LoweGBR51.48
48Fabrizio RampazzoITA51.56
=54Hans KroesNED51.64
=55Thomas LejdströmSWE51.64
76Edsard SchlingemannNED51.74
82Peter RohdeDEN51.98

Final (31 July 1984 — 16:35)

13Rowdy GainesUSA49.80OR
24Mark StockwellAUS50.24
36Per JohanssonSWE50.31
45Mike HeathUSA50.41
52Dano HalsallSUI50.50
=67Stéphan CaronFRA50.70
=68Alberto MestreVEN50.70
81Dirk KorthalsFRG50.93