Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 19, 1976
Date Finished: July 20, 1976
The top two breaststrokers in the world since Munich were American [John Hencken] and Britain’s [David Wilkie], with Hencken considered better in the 100 and Wilkie in the 200. Hencken was World Champion in the 100 in 1973, but Wilkie had won it in 1975 when Hencken did not swim. Hencken had set the last three world records in the event, the current mark standing at 1:03.88 set in 1974. In the first round, he equalled that mark. He improved that in the semi-finals, posting another world record of 1:03.62, pushed by Canadian [Graham Smith], who posted 1:03.92 in placing second. The final was more of the same. Hencken went out well in the lead with 29.38 to wall, with Wilkie inexplicably back in sixth place after missing his first kick off the start. But Wilkie’s strength brought him back in to finish in 1:03.43, under the recently posted record, but it gained him only silver, as Hencken set his third world record in the event, finishing in 1:03.11 for gold. Smith was unable to match his semi pace, finishing in 1:04.26 to trail Soviet [Arvydas Juozaitis], and just miss out on the bronze medal. Four days later, Wilkie and Hencken would again finish 1-2 in the 200 breaststroke, this time Wilkie having the better of it.