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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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Carl Robie 23 United States USA Gold
2 Martyn Woodroffe 18 Great Britain GBR Silver
3 John Ferris 19 United States USA Bronze
4 Valentin Kuzmin 27 Soviet Union URS
5 Peter Feil 21 Sweden SWE
6 Folkert Meeuw 21 West Germany FRG
7 Viktor Sharygin 19 Soviet Union URS
8 Mark Spitz 18 United States USA
2 h1 r1/2 Yasuo Takada 18 Japan JPN
2 h2 r1/2 Gabriel Altamirano 22 Mexico MEX
2 h4 r1/2 Satoshi Maruya 21 Japan JPN
3 h1 r1/2 Avraham Melamed 24 Israel ISR
3 h2 r1/2 Tom Arusoo 20 Canada CAN
3 h3 r1/2 John Thurley 20 Great Britain GBR
3 h4 r1/2 Lutz Stoklasa 18 West Germany FRG
4 h1 r1/2 Ron Jacks 20 Canada CAN
4 h2 r1/2 Sergey Konov 20 Soviet Union URS
4 h3 r1/2 Giampiero Fossati 24 Italy ITA
4 h4 r1/2 Tomas Becerra 15 Colombia COL
4 h5 r1/2 Dick Langerhorst 22 Netherlands NED
5 h1 r1/2 Raúl Villagómez 18 Mexico MEX
5 h2 r1/2 Eduardo Orejuela 16 Ecuador ECU
5 h3 r1/2 Jacek Krawczyk 19 Poland POL
5 h4 r1/2 Robert Cusack 17 Australia AUS
5 h5 r1/2 Graham Dunn 18 Australia AUS
6 h1 r1/2 Arturo Carranza 15 El Salvador ESA
6 h4 r1/2 Angelo Tozzi 19 Italy ITA
6 h5 r1/2 Ramiro Benavides 14 Guatemala GUA
7 h4 r1/2 José Ferraioli 20 Puerto Rico PUR
7 h5 r1/2 Leroy Goff 22 Philippines PHI