Host City: Ciudad de MÃ©xico, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco MÃ¡rquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de MÃ©xico
Date Started: October 18, 1968
Date Finished: October 19, 1968
The 100 metre breaststroke was new to the Olympic Program in 1968. American [Catie Ball] had set the last five world records and had won the Pan American Games in 1967 and came to Mexico City favored. In the semi-finals she qualified as the equal second fastest, with her teammate [Sharon Wichman], behind the surprising [Ana MarÃa Norbis] of Uruguay. Also expected to challenge was the 1964 200 breaststroke gold medalist [Halyna Prozumenshchykova] of the Soviet Union. The early lead in the final was taken by Germanyâs [Uta Frommater] but Ball led at the turn. However, she flagged badly on the last lap and would place fifth. Prozumenshchykova took the lead at 75 metres only to see Yugoslaviaâs [ÃurÄica Bjedov] come from nowhere to touch out Prozumenshchykova for the gold medal, Wichman getting bronze. Bjedov's only previous international experience came in 1966 when she won bronze at the European Championships. Catie Ball turned out to have been sick in Mexico City the entire time and she was withdrawn from further competition, after she was found to have a fever and swollen glands, and had lost 10 lbs (4.5 kg).