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David Wilkie

Full name: David Andrew Wilkie
Gender: Male
Height: 5-11.5 (182 cm)
Weight: 168 lbs (76 kg)
Born: March 8, 1954 in Colombo, Basnahira, Sri Lanka
Affiliations: Warrender Baths Club, Edinburgh (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Swimming

Medals: 1 Gold, 2 Silver (3 Total)

Biography

David Wilkie, Britain’s most successful international swimmer since the heyday of Henry Taylor some 70 years earlier, first learned to swim in Sri Lanka, where he was born of Scots parents. He returned to Scotland in 1965 to attend Daniel Stewart’s College in Edinburgh and although he had no serious competitive aspirations he joined Warrender Baths SC, where he was fortunate to meet an understanding coach in Frank Thomas. On a modest training schedule, Wilkie won a bronze medal in the 100 metre breaststroke at the 1970 Commonwealth Games and a silver medal in the 200 metres at the 1972 Olympics. It was these performances which inspired him to raise his sights. In January 1973 he went to the University of Miami to study marine biology and he then had the time, the facilities and the self-motivation to establish him at the best breastbone swimmer in the world. By the summer of 1973 he had, in part, fulfilled his ambition by winning the 200 metre breaststroke at the World Championships with a new world record. His subsequent record at major championships remains unmatched by any other British swimmer. In 1974 he won the 200 metres breaststroke and the 200 metres individual medley at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships and his winning time in the individual medley at the latter event was a new world record. These outstanding performances earned him an MBE in the Queens’ Birthday Honors list. At the 1975 World Championships he won both individual breastbone events and took a bronze medal in the medley relay. Wilkie opened the 1976 Olympic season by becoming the first Britain ever to win an American Championship title. In fact, he won three – the 100 and 200 metres breaststroke and the 200 metres individual medley. Then at the Montréal Olympics, his greatest ambition was fulfilled. After finishing second to John Hencken of the USA in the 100 metres breaststroke he gained ample revenge by taking the gold medal in the 200 metres. In an event which was measured in hundredths of second Wilkie finished more than two seconds ahead of Hencken, and in beating the world record by more than three seconds he put up what most experts judged to be the finest performances in the Olympic pool at Montréal in 1976.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Men's 100 metres Breaststroke Great Britain GBR 8
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Men's 200 metres Breaststroke Great Britain GBR 2 Silver
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Men's 200 metres Individual Medley Great Britain GBR 3 h4 r1/2
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Men's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay Great Britain GBR 7
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Men's 100 metres Breaststroke Great Britain GBR 2 Silver
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Men's 200 metres Breaststroke Great Britain GBR 1 Gold WR
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Men's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay Great Britain GBR 4

Men's 100 metres Breaststroke

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain Final 8 1:06.52
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat Two 5 QU 1:06.25
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain Round One Heat Three 1 QU 1:06.35
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Great Britain Final 2 1:03.43
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Great Britain Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 1:04.29
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Great Britain Round One Heat Four 1T QU 1:05.19

Men's 200 metres Breaststroke

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain Final 2 2:23.67
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain Round One Heat Three 1 QU 2:24.54
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Great Britain Final 1 WR 2:15.11
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Great Britain Round One Heat Four 1 QU/OR 2:18.29

Men's 200 metres Individual Medley

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain Round One Heat Four 3 2:13.25

Men's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T IST CTAS
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain GBR Final 7 3:58.82 1:06.27 2:07.29
1972 Summer 18 München Swimming Great Britain GBR Round One Heat Three 2 QU 3:58.97 1:06.15 2:07.31
1976 Summer 22 Montréal Swimming Great Britain GBR Final 4 3:49.56 1:02.81 2:02.41
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