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Swimming at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Backstroke

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Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 22, 1988
Date Finished: September 22, 1988

Gold: URS Igor Polyansky
Silver: GDR Frank Baltrusch
Bronze: NZL Paul Kingsman

Summary

Igor Polyansky (URS) came into Seoul as the heavy favorite in this event, having lost only one race since 1985, that at the 1987 European Championships to his teammate, Sergey Zabolotnov. They had set the last two world records, with Zabolotnov setting his at the 1984 Friendship Games in Moscow, just after the Los Angeles Olympics, but Polyansky broke that record in 1985 with 1:58.14. In the Seoul final, Zabolotnov led at 100 metres, but Polyansky took the lead on the third lap. He held on for the gold medal and East German Frank Baltrusch finished quickly for silver, as Zabolotnov fell off the medal stand and placed fourth.\n\nThe bronze medal went to New Zealander Paul Kingsman, whose best previous international finish had been a third at the 1987 Pan Pacs. The awards ceremony would not go so well for him or for Polyansky. First, Kingsman was introduced as from the Soviet Union. Then Polyansky had to stand there as they corrected that, but they overdid it, and announced the playing of the New Zealand national anthem. Fortunately that was corrected and the Soviet anthem was actually played.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Igor Polyansky 21 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 Frank Baltrusch 24 East Germany GDR Silver
3 Paul Kingsman 21 New Zealand NZL Bronze
4 Sergey Zabolotnov 25 Soviet Union URS
5 Dirk Richter 24 East Germany GDR
6 Jens-Peter Berndt 25 West Germany FRG
7 Dan Veatch 23 United States USA
8 Rogério Romero 18 Brazil BRA
9 Frank Hoffmeister 22 West Germany FRG
10 Steve Bigelow 17 United States USA
11 Martín López-Zubero 19 Spain ESP
12 Mark Tewksbury 20 Canada CAN
13 Georgi Mikhalev 20 Bulgaria BUL
14 Tamás Deutsch 18 Hungary HUN
15 Daichi Suzuki 21 Japan JPN
16 Gary Binfield 22 Great Britain GBR
17 Stefano Battistelli 18 Italy ITA QC
18 Sean Murphy 24 Canada CAN
19 Alejandro Alvizuri 20 Peru PER
20 John Davey 23 Great Britain GBR
21 David Holderbach 17 France FRA
22T Simon Upton 19 Australia AUS
22T Ernesto Vela 19 Mexico MEX
24 Eðvarð Þór Eðvarðsson 21 Iceland ISL
25 Richard Gheel 19 Ireland IRL
26 Lars Sørensen 20 Denmark DEN
27 Stephen Cullen 17 Ireland IRL
28 Pavel Vokoun 18 Czechoslovakia TCH
29 Patrick Ferland 23 Switzerland SUI
30 Lin Laijiu 20 China CHN
31 David Lim 22 Singapore SIN
32 Shigemori Maruyama 21 Japan JPN
33 Wladimir Ribeiro 21 Brazil BRA
34 Horst Niehaus 20 Costa Rica CRC
35 Eric Greenwood 21 Costa Rica CRC
36 Patrick Sagisi 17 Guam GUM
37 Brett Halford 17 Zimbabwe ZIM
38 Pablo Barahona 18 Honduras HON
39 Mohamed Abdullah United Arab Emirates UAE
40 Mohamed Bin Abid 19 United Arab Emirates UAE
41 Rami Kantari 25 Lebanon LIB
AC r1/2 Kharalambos Papanikolaou 19 Greece GRE DQ
AC r1/2 Tamás Darnyi 21 Hungary HUN DQ
AC r1/2 Park Dong-Pil 20 South Korea KOR DQ