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Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Butterfly

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 28, 1972
Date Finished: August 28, 1972

Gold: USA Mark Spitz
Silver: USA Gary Hall
Bronze: USA Robin Backhaus

Summary

This was the first men’s individual final of the Munich Olympic swimming competition. The overwhelming favorite was Mark Spitz who had announced plans to win seven gold medals in seven events at the 1972 Olympics. Since 1967 he had set eight world records in the event, and was considered unbeatable in this one. After recording the fastest qualifier in the morning Spitz streaked to the wall on the first lap, opening a lead of 1.45 seconds in the first 50 metres over teammate Gary Hall. Hall actually stayed close on the second lap, Spitz reaching the halfway mark in 57.79, and the third lap. But by the final 50 Spitz was too strong and he powered home to win by over two seconds, setting a world record of 2:00.70. Hall was a comfortable silver medal winner, with American Robin Backhaus completing a sweep for the US. One down for Spitz. Six to go. Forty minutes later, Spitz would swim in the final of the 4 x 100 freestyle relay, winning his second gold medal. The game was on.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mark Spitz 22 United States USA Gold WR
2 Gary Hall 21 United States USA Silver
3 Robin Backhaus 17 United States USA Bronze
4 Jorge Delgado, Jr. 18 Ecuador ECU
5 Hans Faßnacht 21 West Germany FRG
6 András Hargitay 16 Hungary HUN
7 Hartmut Flöckner 19 East Germany GDR
8 Folkert Meeuw 25 West Germany FRG
3 h1 r1/2 Roger Pyttel 15 East Germany GDR
3 h2 r1/2 Yasuhiro Komazaki 18 Japan JPN
3 h3 r1/2 Viktor Sharygin 22 Soviet Union URS
3 h4 r1/2 John Mills 19 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r1/2 Sean Maher 18 Great Britain GBR
4 h2 r1/2 Hugo Valencia 19 Mexico MEX
4 h3 r1/2 James Findlay 18 Australia AUS
4 h4 r1/2 Brian Brinkley 18 Great Britain GBR
5 h1 r1/2 Jorge Jaramillo 16 Colombia COL
5 h2 r1/2 Andrzej Chudziński 23 Poland POL
5 h3 r1/2 Ron Jacks 24 Canada CAN
5 h4 r1/2 Byron MacDonald 22 Canada CAN
6 h1 r1/2 Walter Mack 19 West Germany FRG
6 h2 r1/2 Geoffrey Ferreira 22 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
6 h3 r1/2 Ricardo Marmolejo 18 Mexico MEX
6 h4 r1/2 Gaetano Carboni 17 Italy ITA
7 h1 r1/2 Vasil Dobrev 24 Bulgaria BUL
7 h3 r1/2 Jacques Leloup 20 Belgium BEL
7 h4 r1/2 Hsu Tung-Hsiung 17 Chinese Taipei TPE
8 h3 r1/2 Roy Chan 16 Singapore SIN
8 h4 r1/2 Carlos Singson 16 Philippines PHI
AC h2 r1/2 Angelo Tozzi 23 Italy ITA DQ