Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 18, 1988
Date Finished: September 19, 1988
This was an event that had had no dominant swimmer since the Los Angeles Olympics, but Britain’s [Adrian Moorhouse] was considered a slight favorite, and also felt that he was owed something, after placing fourth in 1984. In the ensuing four years he had won the golds at the 1985 and 1987 Commonwealth Games (in the 200 in 1987), and at the 1987 Europeans. At the 1986 Worlds he had touched first but was later disqualified. His challengers were expected to be Canada’s [Victor Davis], the eventual 1986 World Champion and Soviet [Dmitry Volkov], runner-up at the 1987 Europeans to Moorhouse, and bronze medalist at the 1986 Worlds. But Volkov was recovering from a cut to his hand two months prior to Seoul and had missed a month of training.
This was the first men’s final of the 1988 Olympics, and Moorhouse did not start well, turning in sixth place, as Volkov had a big lead. Then Moorhouse came on and at the end he knew it was close between him and Volkov, and wasn’t certain he had won. He had, but Volkov was third, as Moorhouse had outtouched Hungary’s [Károly Güttler] by only 1/100th of a second. Nobody had heard of Güttler, who was ecstatic just to get a medal, but in 1993 he would set a world record in this event.