Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: September 21, 1988
The gold medal favorite was East German [Silke Hörner] who was the 1986 World Champion, the 1987 European Champion, and had set two world records in the event. But in May, at the Canadian trials, [Allison Higson] broke Hörner’s world record with 2:27.27. She was somewhat of an unknown factor as she had never beaten the East Germans head on, and was only 16th in the world in 1987. In the prelims Hörner confirmed her fitness, leading in 2:27.63, within ½-second of Higson’s world mark, while Higson qualified fourth.
In the final, the pace through 100 metres was set by Bulgarian [Tanya Dangalakova], who was recovering from having a baby in June 1987, and having surgery related to it in October 1987. But then Hörner took over, winning in a world record 2:26.71, well ahead of China’s [Huang Xiaomin]. Dangalakova could not hang on, placing fourth, also behind her teammate [Antoaneta Frenkova], but she would recover and win the 100 breast in a few days, upsetting Hörner. Higson was never a factor in this race, placing seventh.