Host City: Ciudad de MÃ©xico, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco MÃ¡rquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de MÃ©xico
Date Started: October 21, 1968
Date Finished: October 22, 1968
Australiaâs [Ian O'Brien] had won this event in 1964 in world record time, and that time still stood until April 1968 when [Vladimir Kosinsky] of the Soviet Union bettered it. O'Brien was in Mexico City but did not qualify for the final. The home country placed their hopes on [Felipe MuÃ±oz], who was considered a long-shot to win, but hoped to challenge for a medal. MuÃ±oz had the fastest qualifying time with 2:31.1, followed by the United Statesâ [Brian Job] with 2:31.5, far from Kosinskyâs world record of 2:27.4, but altitude made it difficult in all the 200 metres or longer races. Kosinsky led the final at the first turn, trailed by the GDRâs [Egon Henninger] and Job. Kosinsky kept the lead through 150 metres, but Henninger and [Nikolay Pankin] moved up close, although Job stayed in second place. MuÃ±oz was in fifth but closing and the Mexican fans started going crazy as he gained on Kosinsky, passing Pankin off the final turn. MuÃ±oz caught Kosinsky at 175 metres and pulled away only in the final metres to win, 2:28.7 to 2:29.2. It was Mexicoâs first gold medal of the 1968 Olympics, and their first ever swimming gold medal. Brian Job held on for the bronze medal. MuÃ±oz would return in 1972 and place fifth in the final of the 200 breast.