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Duncan Armstrong

Full name: Duncan John D'Arcy Armstrong
Gender: Male
Height: 6-1.5 (187 cm)
Weight: 163 lbs (74 kg)
Born: April 7, 1968 in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
Affiliations: ?, Western Australia, (AUS)
Country: AUS Australia
Sport: Swimming

Related Olympians: Husband (divorced) of Tami Bruce.

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Silver (2 Total)

Biography

Duncan Armstrong started swimming at age five and made his international début at the 1986 Commonwealth Games, where he won the 400 m freestyle gold medal in dramatic fashion by surging from behind, after trailing by nearly 25 m at the midway point, also adding a 4x200 free relay gold. In 1986, Armstrong competed at the World Championships, but failed to medal.

At the 1988 Olympic Games, Armstrong was not considered a medal favorite in the 200 and 400 freestyles, ranked only 46th in the 200 that year, after ranking 25th in 1987. Known as a back-end swimmer, he swam as close to [Matt Biondi]'s lane markers as possible, hoping to draft in the American's wake. With 50 m to go, Armstrong was in third place, but then surged, first past Sweden's [Anders Holmertz] and then Biondi in the final five metres to claim the gold medal in a world record 1:47.25, which was considered one of the biggest upsets in Seoul.

Four days later, Armstrong also qualified for the 400 free final. He was once again slow out of the blocks, turning last at the 100, and was still next-to-last at 300 metres, but he finished very quickly, swimming the last 100 in 55.02 to claim silver behind East German [Uwe Daßler], who won with a world record of 3:46.95. In fact all the medal winners swam better than the previous world record owned by bronze medalist [Artur Wojdat] and this race was later named “The Race of the Century.”

After the 1988 Olympic Games, Armstrong enrolled at University of Florida and won the NCAA 1989 Southeastern Conference titles in the 500 yd freestyle, 4x110 yd free relay and 4x220 yd free relay. At the 1990 Commonwealth Games, he was considered a favorite, but was forced to withdraw with glandular fever (mononucleosis). Armstrong made his last international appearance at the 1992 Olympics, where he was a member of the Australian 4x200 free relay team that was disqualified in the final.

Armstrong retired from sports after the 1992 Olympics and then worked as an expert swimming commentator on Channel Nine's Wide World of Sports, presented the swimming coverage for Fox Sports, and hosted Fox Sports Central on Sunday. He was also a commercial spokesman for Centrum multivitamins and Cardiotech fitness equipment and worked as a children’s coach. He married fellow University of Florida student and Olympic swimmer [Tami Bruce] in 1989, but they later divorced. Armstrong was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1993.

Personal bests: 200 m freestyle - 1:47.25 (1988); 400 m freestyle - 3:47.15 (1988).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Men's 200 metres Freestyle Australia AUS 1 Gold
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Men's 400 metres Freestyle Australia AUS 2 Silver
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay Australia AUS 4
1992 Summer 24 Barcelona Swimming Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay Australia AUS 8

Men's 200 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 5dT 5dR 1cT 1cR 1.5cT 1.5cR 50-100m 100-150m 150-200m
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Australia Final 1 WR 1:47.25 25.46 3 53.02 3 1:20.05 3 27.56 (3) 27.03 (1) 27.20 (1)
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Australia Round One Heat Nine 2 Q 1:48.86 26.08 6 53.60 6 1:21.31 3 27.52 (5) 27.71 (1) 27.55 (1)

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T 1cT 1cR 2cT 2cR 3cT 3cR 100-200m 200-300m 300-400m
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Australia Final 2 3:47.15 56.41 8 1:55.10 8 2:52.13 7 58.69 (8) 57.03 (1) 55.02 (1)
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Australia Round One Heat Seven 3 Q 3:50.64 56.41 4 1:56.39 5 2:54.42 3 59.98 (7) 58.03 (1) 56.22 (1)

Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T ET ER 5dT 1cT
1988 Summer 20 Seoul Swimming Australia AUS Final 4 1:47.24 7:15.23 4
1992 Summer 24 Barcelona Swimming Australia AUS Final AC AC
1992 Summer 24 Barcelona Swimming Australia AUS Round One Heat One 1 1:51.53 1:51.53 3 26.63 54.93
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