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Swimming at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's 50 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1988 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 24, 1988
Date Finished: September 24, 1988

Gold: USA Matt Biondi
Silver: USA Tom Jager
Bronze: URS Gennady Prigoda

Summary

This was the first time that 50 metre freestyle was contested at the Olympics, although there had been a 50 yard freestyle back in 1904. The winner of that event, Hungarian [Zoltán Halmay] was not in Seoul to defend his title.

The two favorites were the American Tom Jager and Matt Biondi, who had traded the world record between them since Jager first swam 22.40 in 1985. Biondi broke the mark in 1986 with 22.33, equaling that in 1987, but then Jager swam 22.32 to win the 1987 Pan Pacs, and improved to 22.23 at the 1988 US Nationals. Jager was a slight favorite, having won not only those two races, but also the 1986 Worlds. One swimmer not challenging was South African Peter Williams, who could not be in Seoul because the IOC did not recognize South Africa, and also could not technically hold the world record, although he had the world’s best ever time of 22.18.

The final saw Biondi lead off the blocks, which was an upset in itself, as Jager had always been the faster starter. Biondi always finished faster, and with that start, he could not be caught, winning in a world record 22.14, with Jager finishing second in 22.36. Bronze went to Soviet Gennady Prigoda, runner-up at the 1987 Europeans, edging out Switzerland’s Dano Halsall, runner-up at the 1986 Worlds. This was Biondi’s sixth medal, and fourth gold, of the Seoul Olympics.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Matt Biondi 22 United States USA Gold WR
2 Tom Jager 23 United States USA Silver
3 Gennady Prigoda 23 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Dano Halsall 25 Switzerland SUI
5 Stéfan Voléry 27 Switzerland SUI
6 Volodymyr Tkachenko 23 Soviet Union URS
7 Frank Henter 24 West Germany FRG
8 Andrew Baildon 17 Australia AUS
9 Göran Titus 21 Sweden SWE
10 Per Johansson 25 Sweden SWE
11 Ang Peng Siong 25 Singapore SIN
12 Shen Jianqiang 23 China CHN
13 Christophe Kalfayan 19 France FRA
14 Stephan Güsgen 26 West Germany FRG
15 Mark Andrews 23 Canada CAN
16 Hilton Woods 20 Netherlands Antilles AHO
17 Stéphan Caron 22 France FRA QC
18 Tsvetan Golomeev 27 Bulgaria BUL QC
19 Feng Qiangbiao 23 China CHN
20T Vagn Høgholm 22 Denmark DEN
20T Hans Kroes 23 Netherlands NED
22 Mark Foster 18 Great Britain GBR
23 Petr Kladiva 21 Czechoslovakia TCH
24 Manuel Guzmán 18 Puerto Rico PUR
25 Mike Fibbens 20 Great Britain GBR
26 Peter Rohde 23 Denmark DEN
27 Tom Stachewicz 22 Australia AUS
28 Yves Clausse 19 Luxembourg LUX
29 Rodrigo González 20 Mexico MEX
30 Paulo Trindade 21 Portugal POR
31 Sérgio Esteves 20 Portugal POR
32 Garvin Ferguson 20 Bahamas BAH OR
33T José Moreira 26 Brazil BRA
33T Joseph Buhain 18 Philippines PHI
35 Li Khai Kam 22 Hong Kong HKG
36 Markus Opatril 23 Austria AUT
37 Jorge Luiz Leite 26 Brazil BRA
38 Alexander Pilhatsch 25 Austria AUT
39 Michael Wright 22 Hong Kong HKG
40 Magnús Ólafsson 21 Iceland ISL
41 Richard Sam Bera 16 Indonesia INA
42T Mohamed El-Azoul 22 Egypt EGY
42T Murat Tahir 24 Turkey TUR
44 Hans Foerster 23 United States Virgin Islands ISV
45T Urbano Zea 19 Mexico MEX
45T Oon Jin Gee 21 Singapore SIN
47 Ronald Pickard 19 United States Virgin Islands ISV
48 Mohamed Hassan 16 Egypt EGY
49 Paul Yelle 24 Barbados BAR
50 Hakan Eskioğlu 17 Turkey TUR
51 Chiang Chi-Li 17 Chinese Taipei TPE
52 Vaughan Smith 19 Zimbabwe ZIM
53 Graham Thompson 24 Zimbabwe ZIM
54 Song Gwang-Seon 18 South Korea KOR
55 Wirmandi Sugriat 17 Indonesia INA
56 Bruno N'Diaye 19 Senegal SEN
57 Warren Sorby 23 Fiji FIJ
58 Pablo Barahona 18 Honduras HON
59 Sergio Fafitine 19 Mozambique MOZ
60 Plutarco Castellanos 17 Honduras HON
61 Hasan Al-Shammari 21 Kuwait KUW
62 Jason Chute 16 Fiji FIJ
63T Michele Piva 23 San Marino SMR
63T Ahmad Faraj 22 United Arab Emirates UAE
65 Trevor Ncala 23 Swaziland SWZ
66 Filippo Piva 21 San Marino SMR
67 Amine El-Domyati 26 Lebanon LIB
68 Mubarak Faraj Bilal United Arab Emirates UAE
69 Yul Mark Du Pont 17 Swaziland SWZ
AC r1/2 Pedro Lima 17 Angola ANG DQ
AC r1/2 Mouhamed Diop 24 Senegal SEN DQ