Swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 50 metre freestyle

The men's 50 metre freestyle event at the 2012 Summer Olympics took place on 2–3 August at the London Aquatics Centre in London, United Kingdom.[1]

Men's 50 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
VenueLondon Aquatics Centre
DatesAugust 2, 2012 (heats &
August 3, 2012 (final)
Competitors58 from 51 nations
Winning time21.34
Florent Manaudou  France
Cullen Jones  United States
César Cielo  Brazil

France's Florent Manaudou stunned the entire field to join his sister Laure Manaudou on top of the podium for the Olympic sprint freestyle title. Swimming in lane seven, the dark horse threw down a scorching time and a textile best of 21.34 to hold off U.S. swimmer Cullen Jones and the event's Brazilian world record holder and defending Olympic champion César Cielo by two-tenths of a second, a sizable chunk in the Olympic swimming's shortest race.[2][3] Jones took home the silver in 21.54 to match his semifinal time in the process, while Cielo missed his chance to defend the title with a bronze medal in 21.59.[4][5][6]

Cielo's teammate Bruno Fratus finished outside the podium by almost a fingertip with a fourth-place time in 21.61. After twelve years of absence as a 31-year-old, U.S. swimmer Anthony Ervin, who previously tied with Gary Hall, Jr. for the gold in 2000, managed to pull off a fifth-place finish in 21.78.[7] Ervin was followed in sixth and seventh by four-time Olympians Roland Mark Schoeman of South Africa (21.80) and George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago (21.82).[8][9] Plagued by injury, Australia's Eamon Sullivan struggled to mount a sprint challenge in a high-calibre race as he finished eighth in 21.98.[6][10]

Earlier in the semifinals, Australia's top sprinter James Magnussen missed the star-studded roster with an eleventh-place time in 22.00.[11][12] Other notable swimmers featured Swedish veteran Stefan Nystrand (22.32) and France's Amaury Leveaux (22.35), the defending silver medalist, both of whom fell short of the semifinal field by a small fraction of a second on the morning prelims.[13]


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

World record César Cielo (BRA)20.91São Paulo, Brazil18 December 2009
Olympic record César Cielo (BRA)21.30Beijing, China16 August 2008




163George Bovell Trinidad and Tobago21.77Q
284César Cielo Brazil21.80Q
385Bruno Fratus Brazil21.82Q
464Anthony Ervin United States21.83Q
571Roland Schoeman South Africa21.92Q
674Cullen Jones United States21.95Q
765Andrey Grechin Russia22.09Q
77Andriy Govorov UkraineQ
83Florent Manaudou FranceQ
1075James Magnussen Australia22.11Q
1186Luca Dotto Italy22.12Q
87Gideon Louw South AfricaQ
1388Brent Hayden Canada22.15Q
1466Krisztián Takács Hungary22.19Q
1568Norbert Trandafir Romania22.22Q, NR
1673Eamon Sullivan Australia22.27Q
1762Stefan Nystrand Sweden22.32
1876Amaury Leveaux France22.35
1972Marco Orsi Italy22.36
2067Adam Brown Great Britain22.39
2182Sergey Fesikov Russia22.42
2253Jasper Aerents Belgium22.43
2361Hanser García Cuba22.45
2444Roy-Allan Burch Bermuda22.47NR
2578Ari-Pekka Liukkonen Finland22.57
2651Shi Yang China22.64
2754David Dunford Kenya22.72
2857Mario Todorović Croatia22.75
2945Barry Murphy Ireland22.76
3081Ioannis Kalargaris Greece22.80
3158Árni Már Árnason Iceland22.81NR
3255Brett Fraser Cayman Islands22.91
3356Kacper Majchrzak Poland23.00
3443Shehab Younis Egypt23.16
3552Federico Grabich Argentina23.30
3646Luke Hall Swaziland23.48
3742Kareem Ennab Jordan24.09
3847Chakyl Camal Mozambique24.43
3941Mahfizur Rahman Sagor Bangladesh24.64
4036Kerson Hadley Federated States of Micronesia24.82
4134Adama Ouedraogo Burkina Faso25.26
4248Zachary Payne Cook Islands25.26
4335Emile Bakale Republic of the Congo25.64
4432Kouassi Brou Ivory Coast25.82
4533Tolga Akcayli Saint Vincent and the Grenadines26.27
4631Giordan Harris Marshall Islands26.88
4738Prasiddha Jung Shah Nepal26.93
4837Hemthon Ponloeu Cambodia27.03
4922Abdourahman Osman Djibouti27.25
5026Mohamed Elkhedr Sudan27.26
5123Ching Maou Wei American Samoa27.30
5227Jackson Niyomugabo Rwanda27.38
5325Ganzi Mugula Uganda27.58
5424Paul Edingue Ekane Cameroon27.87
5515Christian Nassif Central African Republic28.04
5614Phathana Inthavong Laos28.17
5721Mulualem Girma Teshale Ethiopia28.99
5813Wilfried Tevoedjre Benin29.77


Semifinal 1

13Cullen Jones United States21.54Q
4César Cielo BrazilQ
35Anthony Ervin United States21.62Q
48Eamon Sullivan Australia21.88Q
57Gideon Louw South Africa21.92
62James Magnussen Australia22.00
71Krisztián Takács Hungary22.01
86Andriy Govorov Ukraine22.12

Semifinal 2

15Bruno Fratus Brazil21.63Q
24George Bovell Trinidad and Tobago21.77Q
32Florent Manaudou France21.80Q
43Roland Schoeman South Africa21.88Q
56Andrey Grechin Russia21.98
67Luca Dotto Italy22.09
71Brent Hayden Canada22.12
88Norbert Trandafir Romania22.30


7Florent Manaudou France21.34
5Cullen Jones United States21.54
4César Cielo Brazil21.59
46Bruno Fratus Brazil21.61
53Anthony Ervin United States21.78
68Roland Mark Schoeman South Africa21.80
72George Bovell Trinidad and Tobago21.82
81Eamon Sullivan Australia21.98


  1. "Swimming: Results & Schedules". London 2012. NBC Olympics. 29 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  2. "French swimmer Manaudou follows sister's lead by taking gold". France24. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  3. "Olympics swimming: Florent Manaudou wins shock gold". BBC Sport. 3 August 2012. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  4. Brady, Erik (4 August 2012). "USA's Cullen Jones gets oh so close to Olympic dream". USA Today. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  5. "Cullen Jones claims silver in men's 50 freestyle". Boston Globe. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  6. "2012 London Olympics: Unheralded Florent Manaudou Shocks Field With 50 Free Victory; Cullen Jones, Cesar Cielo Complete Podium; Anthony Ervin Fifth". Swimming World Magazine. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  7. Ostler, Scott (4 August 2012). "Anthony Ervin finds redemption in pool". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  8. "Heartbreak for Schoeman". Sport24. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  9. "Bovell considers retirement". Guardian Media Limited. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  10. "Sullivan reveals injury". The Australian. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  11. "2012 London Olympics: Cesar Cielo, Cullen Jones Deadheat for 50 Free Top Seed; Anthony Ervin Qualifies Third". Swimming World Magazine. 2 August 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  12. "Missile bows out of 50 free, Sullivan advances". ABC News Australia. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  13. "2012 London Olympics: George Bovell Posts Olympic Textile Best to Lead 50 Free Qualifying; Cesar Cielo, Anthony Ervin, Cullen Jones Among Semifinalists". Swimming World Magazine. 2 August 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  14. "Men's 50m Freestyle – Heats". London 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
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