Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 18, 1976
Date Finished: July 18, 1976
The United States’ [Bill Forrester] had won this event at the 1975 World Championships, but East German [Roger Pyttel] was second and he had twice broken the world record in early June 1976. The second was the current mark, 1:59.63, which was the first time anyone had broken two minutes for the 200 fly. This was the first swimming final of the Montréal Olympics and the American strategy was to let Pyttel set the pace, stay close to him, and then outsprint him on the final lap. However, the American trio of Forrester, [Mike Bruner] and [Steve Gregg], runner-up at the 1973 Worlds, did not quite comply, as Forrester led to the 100 mark in 57.41, with Bruner second, Pyttel third, and Gregg, a strong finisher, back in fifth. Bruner took the lead at 150 metres, followed by Pyttel, with Gregg gaining water quickly. Bruner held on for the victory, Gregg closing quickly for silver, and Forrester completing the American sweep, as all three broke two minutes, led by Bruner’s world record of 1:59.23.