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Swimming at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Individual Medley

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 25, 1976
Date Finished: July 25, 1976

Gold: USA Rod Strachan
Silver: USA Tim McKee
Bronze: URS Andrey Smirnov

Summary

Since his Munich bronze medal, Hungary’s András Hargitay had been the world’s IM swimmer, winning both the 200 and 400 at the 1975 World Championships, and setting the 400 IM world record in Vienna in 1974 with 4:28.89. That record was broken in April 1976 by his countryman, Zoltán Verraszto, but he was not in Montréal. The US Trials were won in June by Rod Strachan, who was also NCAA Champion in 1976. Hargitay and Strachan were expected to be challenged by Tim McKee, silver medalist in this event in 1972. The opening butterfly leg of the final was led by the third American, Steve Furniss, but Strachan then opened a two-second lead on his strongest leg, the backstroke. Strachan later noted, “I knew I had the weakest breaststroke out there, so I felt I had to have a lead at the end of the backstroke.” And on the third leg, the breaststroke, McKee took back the lead, just over ½-second ahead of Strachan, only to see Strachan race home in the freestyle 100 in under a minute and claim the gold medal in world record time, 4:32.68. McKee settled for a second consecutive silver, while Soviet Andrey Smirnov surprised a tiring Hargitay to win bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Rod Strachan 20 United States USA Gold WR
2 Tim McKee 23 United States USA Silver
3 Andrey Smirnov 19 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 András Hargitay 20 Hungary HUN
5 Graham Smith 18 Canada CAN
6 Steve Furniss 23 United States USA
7 Andy Ritchie 17 Canada CAN
8 HaJo Geisler 21 West Germany FRG
2 h1 r1/2 Bill Sawchuk 17 Canada CAN
2 h5 r1/2 Anatoly Smirnov 18 Soviet Union URS
3 h1 r1/2 Alan McClatchey 19 Great Britain GBR
3 h2 r1/2 Tsuyoshi Yanagidate 19 Japan JPN
3 h3 r1/2 Miloslav Roľko 15 Czechoslovakia TCH
3 h4 r1/2 Peter Dawson 19 Australia AUS
3 h5 r1/2 Mark Treffers 22 New Zealand NZL
4 h1 r1/2 John McConnochie 22 New Zealand NZL
4 h2 r1/2 José-Ricardo de Jesús 16 Puerto Rico PUR
4 h3 r1/2 Jeff Van de Graaf Australia AUS
4 h4 r1/2 Csaba Sós 19 Hungary HUN
4 h5 r1/2 Jim Carter 19 Great Britain GBR
5 h1 r1/2 Gunnar Gundersen 20 Norway NOR
5 h2 r1/2 Ronald Woutering 17 Netherlands NED
5 h3 r1/2 Duncan Cleworth 19 Great Britain GBR
5 h4 r1/2 Ricardo Marmolejo 22 Mexico MEX
5 h5 r1/2 Julio Abreu 22 Paraguay PAR
6 h3 r1/2 François Deley 20 Belgium BEL
6 h4 r1/2 Dov Nisman 21 Israel ISR
6 h5 r1/2 Zoltán Verrasztó 20 Hungary HUN
7 h3 r1/2 António de Melo 16 Portugal POR
7 h4 r1/2 Edwin Borja 18 Philippines PHI
7 h5 r1/2 Guillermo Zavala 18 Mexico MEX
AC h1 r1/2 Patrick Novaretti 19 Monaco MON DQ
AC h2 r1/2 Mikhail Gorelik 18 Soviet Union URS DQ