Swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 50 metre freestyle
|Men's 50 metre freestyle|
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
|Venue||London Aquatics Centre|
|Dates||August 2, 2012 (heats &|
August 3, 2012 (final)
|Competitors||58 from 51 nations|
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. 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.
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. 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). 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.
Earlier in the semifinals, Australia's top sprinter James Magnussen missed the star-studded roster with an eleventh-place time in 22.00. 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.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||César Cielo (BRA)||20.91||São Paulo, Brazil||18 December 2009|
|Olympic record||César Cielo (BRA)||21.30||Beijing, China||16 August 2008|
|1||3||Cullen Jones||United States||21.54||Q|
|3||5||Anthony Ervin||United States||21.62||Q|
|5||7||Gideon Louw||South Africa||21.92|
|2||4||George Bovell||Trinidad and Tobago||21.77||Q|
|4||3||Roland Schoeman||South Africa||21.88||Q|
|5||Cullen Jones||United States||21.54|
|5||3||Anthony Ervin||United States||21.78|
|6||8||Roland Mark Schoeman||South Africa||21.80|
|7||2||George Bovell||Trinidad and Tobago||21.82|
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- "'Big Cesar' races to first Brazilian swim gold". ESPN. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Men's 50m Freestyle – Heats". London 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.