Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle
|Men's 100 metre freestyle|
at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
|Venue||Beijing National Aquatics Centre|
|Date||August 12, 2008 (heats)|
August 13, 2008 (semifinals)
August 14, 2008 (final)
|Competitors||64 from 55 nations|
Alain Bernard stormed home on the final lap to claim France's first ever gold medal in the event with a time of 47.21. Australia's world record holder Eamon Sullivan enjoyed a great start in the first 50 metres, but ended up with a silver in 47.32, just 0.11 of a second behind Bernard. U.S. swimmer Jason Lezak and Brazil's César Cielo tied for the bronze medal in a matching time of 47.67.
Two-time defending champion Pieter van den Hoogenband finished the race in fifth place at 47.75. Although he missed an opportunity to attain a third straight triumph in the same event, Van den Hoogenband became the first ever swimmer to reach the final at his fourth Olympics. Four months later, he announced his retirement from the sport, ending an Olympic career with a total of seven medals, including three golds.
Van den Hoogenband was followed in sixth by South Africa's Lyndon Ferns (48.04), and in seventh by Sullivan's teammate Matt Targett (48.20). After missing out the semifinals in Athens four years earlier, Sweden's Stefan Nystrand rounded out the finale to eighth place in 48.33.
Earlier in the semifinals, Bernard and Sullivan exchanged world-record performances to set up a battle race for the final. Swimming in the first heat, Bernard delivered a time of 47.20 to erase a 0.04-second standard set by Sullivan during his lead-off leg in the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay. A few minutes later, Sullivan had taken back the record in the second semifinal at 47.05.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Alain Bernard (FRA)||47.50||Eindhoven, Netherlands||22 March 2008|
|Olympic record||Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED)||47.84||Sydney, Australia||19 September 2000|
The following new world and Olympic records were set during this competition.
|13 August||Semifinal 1||Alain Bernard||France||47.20||WR, OR|
|13 August||Semifinal 2||Eamon Sullivan||Australia||47.05||WR, OR|
|1||5||Alain Bernard||France||47.20||Q, WR|
|3||2||Jason Lezak||United States||47.98||Q|
|4||6||Lyndon Ferns||South Africa||48.00||Q|
|1||4||Eamon Sullivan||Australia||47.05||Q, WR|
|2||3||Pieter van den Hoogenband||Netherlands||47.68||Q, NR|
|5||6||Garrett Weber-Gale||United States||48.12|
|7||Jason Lezak||United States||47.67|
|5||3||Pieter van den Hoogenband||Netherlands||47.75|
|6||1||Lyndon Ferns||South Africa||48.04|
- "Olympic Swimming Schedule". USA Today. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "France's Alain Bernard clinches 100m freestyle gold". France 24. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (13 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Alain Bernard Captures 100 Free Gold". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Bernard pips Sullivan for 100m gold". ABC News. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Linden, Julian (13 August 2008). "Van den Hoogenband hangs up his goggles". Reuters. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Ian Thorpe honours Pieter van den Hoogenband". Herald Sun. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Lohn, John (12 August 2008). "Olympics, Swimming: Flash Alain Bernard Reclaims World Record in Semifinal 1 of 100 Free, Eamon Sullivan Says Give Me That Back". Swimming World Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- Johanson, Simon (13 August 2008). "Sullivan smashes world record – again". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 May 2013.