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Swimming at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Butterfly

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco Márquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 24, 1968
Date Finished: October 24, 1968

Gold: USA Carl Robie
Silver: GBR Martyn Woodroffe
Bronze: USA John Ferris

Summary

[Carl Robie] had won a silver medal in the 200 fly in Tokyo, and he had set four world records in the event. But the last of those was in 1963, and the favorite in 1968 was [Mark Spitz], who had set three world records in 1967 and was predicting that he could win six gold medals in Mexico City. This was his last chance for individual gold in 1968 as he had so far won only a silver and a bronze in his individual races. In the final, all three American swimmers false started when they hopped in the pool early, protesting the official’s ruling of not allowing the swimmers in the pool to get wet before the race. After the actual start, Robie took the lead at 100 metres with Spitz surprisingly last at that point. He was challenged on the third lap by Britain’s [Martin Woodroffe], but Robie never lost the lead and held on in the final lap to win gold by 0.3 seconds, Woodroffe placing second. [John Ferris] of the United States was third for most of the race and won the bronze medal, with Spitz a badly beaten eighth and last in the final. He would do a bit better in 1972, winning gold in this race, and fulfilling his prediction there to win seven gold medals.