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Swimming at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Women's 100 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 18, 1988
Date Finished: September 19, 1988

Gold: GDR Kristin Otto
Silver: CHN Zhuang Yong
Bronze: FRA Catherine Plewinski

Summary

The heavy favorite was East German Kristin Otto, the reigning World and European champion, and the world record holder. She was looking for a Spitz-like performance in Seoul, aiming for six gold medals, and her first race was the 100 freestyle. Swimming World noted that this race was the first time in 12 years that all the world’s top swimmers had gathered at the Olympics. Otto was expected to be challenged by Americans Dara Torres, winner of the 1987 Pan Pacs and 1988 world leader with 55.30, and Mitzi Kremer, ranked third in the world in 1988. But they were non-factors, as Kremer did not make the final, and Torres would finish only seventh.

In the final, Otto was challenged by China’s surprising Zhuang Yong, who had been ranked only 12th in the world in 1987 and was only ninth in 1988 coming into the Olympics. Otto won easily, Zhuang setting a PR of 55.50 for the silver, the first Olympic medal won by a Chinese swimmer. France’s Catherine Plewinski was another surprise, winning the bronze medal, although she even admitted she did not think she could qualify for the A final. She had never medaled at an international meet before.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Kristin Otto 22 East Germany GDR Gold
2 Zhuang Yong 16 China CHN Silver
3 Catherine Plewinski 20 France FRA Bronze
4 Manuela Stellmach 18 East Germany GDR
5 Silvia Poll 17 Costa Rica CRC
6 Karin Brienesse 19 Netherlands NED
7 Dara Torres 21 United States USA
8 Conny van Bentum 23 Netherlands NED
9 Nataliya Trefilova 17 Soviet Union URS
10 Ayako Nakano 15 Japan JPN
11 Luminiţa Dobrescu 17 Romania ROU
12 Mitzi Kremer 20 United States USA
13 Gitta Jensen 16 Denmark DEN
14 Karen Van Wirdum 17 Australia AUS
15 Svetlana Isakova 18 Soviet Union URS
16 Tamara Costache 18 Romania ROU
17 Andrea Nugent 19 Canada CAN
18 Marie-Thérèse Armentero 22 Switzerland SUI
19 Christiane Pielke 25 West Germany FRG
20 Jane Kerr 20 Canada CAN
21 Eva Nyberg 19 Sweden SWE
22 Susie Baumer 22 Australia AUS
23 Lou Yaping 17 China CHN
24 Natasha Khristova 18 Bulgaria BUL
25 Annabelle Cripps 20 Great Britain GBR
26 Pia Sørensen 21 Denmark DEN
27 Karin Furuhed 21 Sweden SWE
28 June Croft 25 Great Britain GBR
29T Jacqueline Delord 18 France FRA
29T Silvia Persi 22 Italy ITA
31 Katja Ziliox 18 West Germany FRG
32 Kaori Sasaki 17 Japan JPN
33 Senda Gharbi 21 Tunisia TUN
34 Adriana Pereira 24 Brazil BRA
35 Karen Dieffenthaler 20 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
36 Patricia Kohlmann 20 Mexico MEX
37 Isabelle Vieira 16 Brazil BRA
38 María Rivera 21 Mexico MEX
39 Gillian Thomson 13 Philippines PHI
40 Bryndís Ólafsdóttir 19 Iceland ISL
41 Carolina Mauri 18 Costa Rica CRC
42 Hung Cee Kay 16 Hong Kong HKG
43 Kim Eun-Jeong 15 South Korea KOR
44 Ana Fortin 16 Honduras HON
45 Fenella Ng 20 Hong Kong HKG
46 Han Yeong-Hui 15 South Korea KOR
47 Wang Chi 18 Chinese Taipei TPE
48 Sabrina Lum 17 Chinese Taipei TPE
49 Catherine Fogarty 17 Zimbabwe ZIM
50 Veronica Cummings 15 Guam GUM
51 Angela Birch 14 Fiji FIJ
52 Cina Munch 17 Fiji FIJ
53 Carolina Araujo 17 Mozambique MOZ
54 Katerine Moreno 14 Bolivia BOL
55 Elsa Freire 14 Angola ANG
56 Nancy Khalaf 14 Lebanon LIB
57 Carla Fernandes 14 Angola ANG