Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Bernat Picornell Pools, Barcelona
Date Started: July 28, 1992
Date Finished: July 28, 1992
To Spanish swimming fans this was the most highly anticipated event in Barcelona, as the favorite was the world record holder, [Martín López-Zubero]. López-Zubero was also the 1991 World Champion and won both backstrokes at the 1991 European Championships. The pace in the final was set by Russian [Vladimir Selkov], with Japan’s [Hajime Itoi] briefly leading at 150. But López-Zubero came on in the final 25 metres to win the gold medal, with Selkov second, and Italy’s [Stefano Battistelli] finishing strong for the bronze.
López-Zubero’s brother, [David], had won Spain’s first ever swimming medal back in 1980 with a bronze in the 100 butterfly, but they were basically American with dual citizenship. They had both been born in the United States, raised in the US, trained in the US, and went to American colleges. However, their father was Spanish which gave them a Spanish passport and allowed them to compete internationally for Spain. David had chosen this route first and Martín followed it.