Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Men's 50 metre freestyle
|Men's 50 metre freestyle
at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
|Venue||Athens Olympic Aquatic Centre|
|Dates||August 19, 2004 (heats &
August 20, 2004 (final)
|Competitors||86 from 78 nations|
|Swimming events at the
2004 Summer Olympics
United States' Gary Hall Jr. defended his Olympic title in the event in 21.93, just two hundredths of a second off the record set by Alexander Popov in 1992. The silver medal was awarded to Croatia's Duje Draganja, who placed behind Hall by a hundredth-second margin in 21.94. South Africa's Roland Mark Schoeman completed his full set of medals by adding a bronze in 22.02, just 0.03 of a second off his time from the semifinals (21.99).
Defending bronze medalist Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands (22.56), and dual Olympic champion Alexander Popov of Russia 22.58) missed the semifinals by less than a tenth of a second. By the following year, Popov announced his retirement from swimming, and became a full-time member of the International Olympic Committee.
Eleven first round heats were raced, comprising a total of 86 swimmers. The fastest 16 swimmers from this group qualified to move on to the semifinals stage. After the heats had been raced, the cut-off time was 22.53 seconds. The 16 swimmers who advanced then raced in two semifinals of eight swimmers each, the results being pooled and the fastest eight swimmers advancing to the final. The cut-off time to proceed into the final was 22.19 seconds.
Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.
|World record||Alexander Popov (RUS)||21.64||Moscow, Russia||16 June 2000|||
|Olympic record||Alexander Popov (EUN)||21.91||Barcelona, Spain||30 July 1992|||
|1||6||Roland Mark Schoeman||South Africa||21.99||Q|
|3||5||Salim Iles||Algeria||22.16||Q, NR|
|7||8||Lyndon Ferns||South Africa||22.46|
|8||7||Ricardo Busquets||Puerto Rico||22.52|
|1||6||Jason Lezak||United States||22.12||Q|
|2||2||Gary Hall, Jr.||United States||22.18||Q|
|2||Gary Hall, Jr.||United States||21.93|
|4||Roland Mark Schoeman||South Africa||22.02|
|5||3||Jason Lezak||United States||22.11|
- "Swimming schedule". BBC Sport. 5 August 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
- Harris, Beth (21 August 2004). "Defiant Hall wins 50m free". Associated Press. Washington Times. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
- Thomas, Stephen (20 August 2004). "Hall Does it Again, Repeats as 50 Free Champ". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- Thomas, Stephen (19 August 2004). "Men's 50 Freestyle Prelims Day 6: Hall Splashes a Hot 22.04, Fastest Qualifier; Lezak Makes This One but Popov, Hoogie Bow Out". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "Beginner's guide to swimming". BBC Sport. 15 April 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
- "Swimming – Current World Records – Men" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
- "Swimming—Current Olympic Records—Men" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. 21 August 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2007.