Host City: MontrÃ©al, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, MontrÃ©al, QuÃ©bec
Date Started: July 24, 1976
Date Finished: July 24, 1976
[David Wilkie] of Great Britain was the slight favorite in this event, but a close contest was expected with his great rival, American [John Hencken]. Wilkie was World Champion in the 200 breast in 1973 and 1975, but four days earlier, Hencken had won the 100 breaststroke, Wilkie placing second. So far in MontrÃ©al, American men had won every gold medal when the final of this event started, and there the streak would end. Hencken swam wonderfully, almost a full second ahead of his world record, finishing in 2:17.26. He led through 100 metres, but Wilkie went ahead by the third lap, and shattered the world record with 2:15.11, over two seconds ahead of his rival. The mark would last as the world record for over six years. The Olympic gold medal was the first by a British male since 1908.