Swimming at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Women's 50 metre freestyle
|Women's 50 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad
|Venue||Olympic Aquatics Stadium|
|Dates||12 August 2016 (heats &
13 August 2016 (final)
|Competitors||91 from 76 nations|
Pernille Blume defeated the field of experienced sprinters to give Denmark its first Olympic swimming title in 68 years. Leading the program's shortest race from prelims into the semifinals, she splashed her way to a gold-medal triumph in 24.07, but fell short of her attempt to overhaul Ranomi Kromowidjojo's Olympic record by a small fraction of a second. U.S. sprinter Simone Manuel, newly crowned Olympic champion of the 100 m freestyle, settled for the silver in 24.09, stopping 0.02 seconds behind Blume. Meanwhile, London 2012 runner-up Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus secured the top three spot with a 24.11 for the bronze.
Great Britain's Francesca Halsall narrowly missed out of the medals by 0.02 of a second, finishing with a fourth-place time in 24.13. Unable to bounce back from their out-of-medal feat in the 100 m freestyle, sisters and pre-race favorites Cate (24.15) and Bronte Campbell (24.42) slipped to fifth and seventh, respectively, while defending champion Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands split the Australian duo to take the sixth spot in 24.19. Brazil's hometown favorite Etiene Medeiros wrapped up the top eight with a 24.69.
Notable swimmers failed to reach the top eight final, including Blume's fellow sprinter Jeanette Ottesen, London 2012 finalist Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of the Bahamas, and Swedish tandem of three-time medalist Sarah Sjöström and Therese Alshammar, who built a historic milestone as the first ever female in the pool to compete at her sixth Olympics.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Britta Steffen (GER)||23.73||Rome, Italy||2 August 2009|
|Olympic record||Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED)||24.05||London, United Kingdom||4 August 2012|
|1||4||Francesca Halsall||Great Britain||24.41||Q|
|3||8||Etiene Medeiros||Brazil||24.45||Q, SA|
|5||6||Chantal Van Landeghem||Canada||24.61|
|4||7||Simone Manuel||United States||24.44||Q|
|6||3||Abbey Weitzeil||United States||24.67|
|7||Simone Manuel||United States||24.09|
|4||6||Francesca Halsall||Great Britain||24.13|
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