Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 29, 1972
Date Finished: August 30, 1972
This race was considered open with no swimmer having dominated in the past few years. The world record was 1:06.2 set by Soviet [Nikolay Pankin], who made the final, but he had set that back in 1969, an eternity ago in swimming circles. That record did not do well in the semi-finals in Munich as [John Hencken] (USA) swam 1:05.68 in the first semi, only to see Japan’s [Nobutaka Taguchi] better that in the second heat with 1:05.13. In the final the American threesome of Hencken, [Tom Bruce], and [Mark Chatfield] led to the turn with Taguchi back in seventh place. At 85 metres Bruce seemed to have the race in hand, but Taguchi closed quickly to take the gold medal and another world record, 1:04.94. Bruce held on for second with Hencken winning bronze. [David Wilkie] of Great Britain finished last in the final. In 1973 at the World Championships, Hencken would win gold with Wilkie second, and Taguchi third. Over the next few years Hencken and Wilkie would become the world’s top breaststrokers and battle for superiority among themselves. At Montréal in 1976 Hencken would win gold in this event, with Wilkie the 200 breaststroke gold.