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Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Freestyle

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 29, 1972
Date Finished: August 29, 1972

Gold: USA Mark Spitz
Silver: USA Steve Genter
Bronze: FRG Werner Lampe


[Mark Spitz] was the heavy favorite, as this was one of his four individual events in his attempt to win seven swimming gold medals in Munich. The day before the 200 freestyle, he had won his first two gold medals in the 200 butterfly and with the United States’ 4 x 100 freestyle relay team. His biggest challenger was thought to have been his teammate, [Steve Genter], but Genter had been hospitalized in Munich only four days earlier with a collapsed lung (pneumothorax), and had to have the air and fluid drained from his chest cavity. However, Genter heroically came to the line on Tuesday morning for the prelims and qualified for the final easily.

In the final Spitz went out fast, leading Soviet [Vladimir Bure], later a bronze medalist in the 100 free, at the first turn. But on the second lap, Genter took over the lead, 54.93 to Spitz’s 55.06. Spitz closed on the third lap, but Genter turned better to regain the lead for the final 50. Defending champion [Michael Wenden] of Australia closed to third at 150, but he fell back in the closing metres. The final lap was all Spitz who won by five metres and almost a second, with Genter taking a courageous silver. The bronze medal went to the fast closing [Werner Lampe] of West Germany. For Spitz it was three down, four to go.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mark Spitz 22 United States USA Gold WR
2 Steve Genter 21 United States USA Silver
3 Werner Lampe 21 West Germany FRG Bronze
4 Mike Wenden 22 Australia AUS
5 Fred Tyler 18 United States USA
6 Klaus Steinbach 18 West Germany FRG
7 Vladimir Bure 21 Soviet Union URS
8 Ralph Hutton 24 Canada CAN
2 h1 r1/2 Robert Nay 15 Australia AUS
2 h2 r1/2 Georgijs Kuļikovs 25 Soviet Union URS
2 h3 r1/2 Graham White 21 Australia AUS
2 h4 r1/2 Wilfried Hartung 19 East Germany GDR
2 h5 r1/2 Peter Bruch 16 East Germany GDR
2 h6 r1/2 Brian Brinkley 18 Great Britain GBR
3 h1 r1/2 Viktor Mazanov 25 Soviet Union URS
3 h2 r1/2 Pierre Caland 15 France FRA
3 h3 r1/2 John Mills 19 Great Britain GBR
3 h4 r1/2 Gerardo Vera 17 Venezuela VEN
3 h5 r1/2 Bruce Robertson 19 Canada CAN
3 h6 r1/2 Peter Prijdekker 24 Netherlands NED
3 h7 r1/2 Udo Poser 25 East Germany GDR
4 h1 r1/2 Hans Ljungberg 24 Sweden SWE
4 h2 r1/2 Michael Bailey 24 Great Britain GBR
4 h3 r1/2 Fritz Warncke 16 Norway NOR
4 h4 r1/2 Olaf, Baron von Schilling 28 West Germany FRG
4 h5 r1/2 Marian Slavic 26 Romania ROU
4 h6 r1/2 Rui Oliveira 19 Brazil BRA
4 h7 r1/2 Rolf Pettersson 19 Sweden SWE
5 h1 r1/2 Alfredo Carlos Machado 19 Brazil BRA
5 h2 r1/2 Zbigniew Pacelt 21 Poland POL
5 h3 r1/2 Kamal Kenawi Ali Moustafa 16 Egypt EGY
5 h4 r1/2 Bernt Zarnowiecki 18 Sweden SWE
5 h5 r1/2 Colin Herring 19 New Zealand NZL
5 h6 r1/2 Roberto Pangaro 22 Italy ITA
5 h7 r1/2 Mark Crocker 16 Hong Kong HKG
6 h2 r1/2 Arnaldo Cinquetti 18 Italy ITA
6 h3 r1/2 Luis Ayesa 22 Philippines PHI
6 h4 r1/2 Riccardo Targetti 20 Italy ITA
6 h5 r1/2 Ian MacKenzie 18 Canada CAN
6 h6 r1/2 Sandro Rudan 19 Yugoslavia YUG
6 h7 r1/2 Samnang Prak 23 Cambodia CAM
7 h4 r1/2 Fawzi Burhma 21 Kuwait KUW
7 h5 r1/2 Hanspeter Würmli 19 Switzerland SUI
7 h6 r1/2 Tomás Rengifo El Salvador ESA
8 h5 r1/2 Roberto Strauss 20 Mexico MEX
8 h6 r1/2 Finnur Garðarsson 20 Iceland ISL