Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: September 3, 1972
Date Finished: September 3, 1972
[Gary Hall] had set three world records in this event since the 1968 Olympics, including at the US Trials in August. But in the 400 IM, held four days earlier, Sweden’s [Gunnar Larsson], 1970 European Champion in both IMs, had outtouched American [Tim McKee]. The three swimmers were expected to contest the medals along with the third American, [Steve Furniss], who won the fifth heat in the first round. Hall, a butterfly specialist, took the lead in the final on the opening butterfly leg. He maintained it through the backstroke 50, but Larsson took over on the breaststroke, with McKee moving into second. But the race was over, as Larsson was unchallenged on the freestyle lap, winning by 1.2 seconds in a world record 2:07.17. Furniss came on for the bronze medal as Hall tired in the final lap. Hall was disconsolate, having come to Munich expecting to win gold in both medley races but going home without a medal in either race.