Swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle

The men's 100 metre freestyle event at the 2012 Summer Olympics took place on 31 July and 1 August at the London Aquatics Centre in London, United Kingdom.[1]

Men's 100 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
VenueLondon Aquatics Centre
DateJuly 31, 2012 (heats &
August 1, 2012 (final)
Competitors60 from 54 nations
Winning time47.52
Nathan Adrian  United States
James Magnussen  Australia
Brent Hayden  Canada

In one of the closest finishes in Olympic history, Nathan Adrian touched out Australia's favorite James Magnussen at the wall by a fingertip to win the event at the Olympics for the Americans for the first time since Matt Biondi topped the podium in 1988. Coming from third at the halfway turn, Adrian powered home on the final stretch, finishing in 47.52 to edge out Magnussen, also known as "The Missile", by a hundredth of a second (0.01).[2][3] Meanwhile, Magnussen ended the most exhilarating race of his life with a heartbreaking defeat, as he accepted a second straight silver for the Aussies in 47.53, adding more than four tenths of a second from his best time of 47.10 at the 2012 Australian Championships.[4][5] Canada's Brent Hayden picked up the bronze in 47.80, winning his first Olympic medal and handing the Canadians their first ever medal in the event's history.[6][7]

After claiming two golds and a silver in the past four days, France's Yannick Agnel could not produce his similar effort with a fourth-place time in 47.84.[8][9] Meanwhile, Netherlands' Sebastiaan Verschuren pulled off a fifth-place finish in 47.88. Heading into the halfway turn with an early lead, Brazil's world record holder César Cielo dropped to sixth in 47.92.[10] Cuba's Hanser García (48.04) and Russia's Nikita Lobintsev (48.44) rounded out a historic finale.[7]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World record César Cielo (BRA)46.91Rome, Italy30 July 2009
Olympic record Eamon Sullivan (AUS)47.05Beijing, China13 August 2008




165Nathan Adrian United States48.19Q
261Gideon Louw South Africa48.29Q
382Sebastiaan Verschuren Netherlands48.37Q
484James Magnussen Australia48.38Q
585Brent Hayden Canada48.51Q
667Brett Fraser Cayman Islands48.54Q
78Pieter Timmers BelgiumQ, NR
863Nikita Lobintsev Russia48.60Q
987Cullen Jones United States48.61Q
1077Konrad Czerniak Poland48.63Q
1164César Cielo Brazil48.67Q
1274James Roberts Australia48.93Q
1275Yannick Agnel France48.93Q
1483Fabien Gilot France48.95Q
1572Hanser García Cuba48.97Q
1681Shaune Fraser Cayman Islands48.99Q
1754Norbert Trandafir Romania49.02
1876Marco di Carli Germany49.03
1962Filippo Magnini Italy49.18
2068Adam Brown Great Britain49.20
2173Graeme Moore South Africa49.29
2286Luca Dotto Italy49.43
2352Martin Verner Czech Republic49.49
2471Nicolas Oliveira Brazil49.51
2588Stefan Nystrand Sweden49.55
2656David Dunford Kenya49.60
2745Kemal Arda Gürdal Turkey49.71
2857Mindaugas Sadauskas Lithuania49.78
2958Dominik Meichtry Switzerland49.95
3047Uvis Kalniņš Latvia49.96
3151Kristian Gkolomeev Greece50.08
3246Benjamin Hockin Paraguay50.12
3343Nabil Kebbab Algeria50.37
3444Yauhen Tsurkin Belarus50.53
3541Gabriel Melconian Alvez Uruguay50.68
3648Branden Whitehurst Virgin Islands51.04
3734Sidni Hoxha Albania51.11NR
3832Kevin Avila Soto Guatemala51.44
3935Andrew Chetcuti Malta51.67NR
4033Jemal le Grand Aruba51.86
4137Andrew Rutherfurd Bolivia52.57
4236Mohammed Bidarian Iran52.93
4324Esau Simpson Grenada53.26
4438Christopher Duenas Guam53.37
4531Mikael Koloyan Armenia53.82
4622Sergeý Krowýakow Turkmenistan54.43NR
4723Paul Elaisa Fiji54.87
4825Niall Roberts Guyana55.66
4921Tamir Andryei Mongolia56.37
5026Shane Mangroo Seychelles56.46
5127Omar Núñez Nicaragua57.11
5214Mamadou Soumare Mali57.32
5315Ahmed Husam Maldives57.53
5428Israr Hussain Pakistan57.86
5516Ammaar Ghadiyali Tanzania1:01.07
5613Beni Bertrand Binobagira Burundi1:04.57
42George Bovell Trinidad and TobagoDNS
53Lü Zhiwu ChinaDNS
55Dominik Kozma HungaryDNS
66Danila Izotov RussiaDNS


Semifinal 1

15James Magnussen Australia47.63Q
22César Cielo Brazil48.17Q
36Nikita Lobintsev Russia48.38Q
44Gideon Louw South Africa48.44
51Fabien Gilot France48.49
67James Roberts Australia48.57
73Brett Fraser Cayman Islands48.92
88Shaune Fraser Cayman Islands49.07

Semifinal 2

14Nathan Adrian United States47.97Q
28Hanser García Cuba48.04Q, NR
35Sebastiaan Verschuren Netherlands48.13Q
43Brent Hayden Canada48.21Q
51Yannick Agnel France48.23Q
67Konrad Czerniak Poland48.44
76Pieter Timmers Belgium48.57
82Cullen Jones United States48.60


5Nathan Adrian United States47.52
4James Magnussen Australia47.53
7Brent Hayden Canada47.80
41Yannick Agnel France47.84
56Sebastiaan Verschuren Netherlands47.88
62César Cielo Brazil47.92
73Hanser García Cuba48.04=NR
88Nikita Lobintsev Russia48.44


  1. "Swimming: Results & Schedules". London 2012. NBC Olympics. 29 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  2. "Nathan Adrian of U.S. wins 100-meter freestyle gold medal by smallest of margins". CBS News. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  3. Auerbach, Nicole (1 August 2012). "Nathan Adrian wins gold in dramatic finish in 100 free". USA Today. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  4. "Heartbreak as James Magnussen falls to American Nathan Adrian by 1/100th of second". News Corp Australia. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  5. "Agony as Magnussen pipped for 100m gold". ABC News Australia. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  6. "London 2012: Canadian swimmer Brent Hayden wins bronze medal in 100-metre freestyle". Toronto Star. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  7. "2012 London Olympics: USA's Nathan Adrian Clips James Magnussen for 100 Free Gold". Swimming World Magazine. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  8. Das, Andrew (1 August 2012). "American Adrian Wins 100-Meter Freestyle". New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  9. "USA's Adrian beats Magnussen for 100 free gold". Foxtel. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  10. "Nathan Adrian beats James Magnussen to 100m freestyle gold". BBC Sport. 1 August 2012. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  11. "Men's 100m Freestyle – Heats". London 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
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