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Swimming at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Women's 200 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 22, 1976
Date Finished: July 22, 1976

Gold: GDR Kornelia Ender
Silver: USA Shirley Babashoff
Bronze: NED Enith Brigitha


[Shirley Babashoff] had won this event at the 1975 World Championships but in June 1976, the GDR’s [Kornelia Ender] became the first woman to swim 200 metres in under two minutes, breaking the world record in Berlin in 1:59.78. On the night of the 200 final, Ender won the 100 metre butterfly gold medal, finishing at 1948. She received her gold medal for that event at 2001, and seven minutes later was back on the pool deck for the 200 freestyle final.

Ender had a new plan for the final. At the 1975 World she had taken it out hard and died on the final 100 to allow Babashoff to pass her the title. In Montréal she let Babashoff take the lead through 100 metres, and they were virtually even at 150. Then Ender turned on the jets, finishing the final 50 in 28.88, almost as fast as her opening 50 of 28.63, and beating Babashoff with another world record of 1:59.26. Dutchwoman [Enith Brigitha] placed third, as she had in the 100 freestyle a few days before. Ender would finish the Montréal Olympics with four gold medals, and one silver, added to the three silvers she had won in Munich, when she was only 13-years-old.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Kornelia Ender 17 East Germany GDR Gold WR
2 Shirley Babashoff 19 United States USA Silver
3 Enith Brigitha 21 Netherlands NED Bronze
4 Annelies Maas 16 Netherlands NED
5 Gail Amundrud 19 Canada CAN
6 Jennifer Hooker 15 United States USA
7 Claudia Hempel 17 East Germany GDR
8 Irina Vlasova 19 Soviet Union URS
2 h1 r1/2 Larisa Tsaryova 17 Soviet Union URS
2 h2 r1/2 Debbie Clarke 15 Canada CAN
2 h3 r1/2 Rebecca Perrott 15 New Zealand NZL
2 h6 r1/2 Jill Sterkel 15 United States USA
3 h1 r1/2 Jutta Weber 22 West Germany FRG
3 h2 r1/2 Lyubov Kobzova 19 Soviet Union URS
3 h3 r1/2 Andrea Pollack 15 East Germany GDR
3 h4 r1/2 Anne Richard 16 Belgium BEL
3 h5 r1/2 Anne Jardin 16 Canada CAN
3 h6 r1/2 Ineke Ran 14 Netherlands NED
4 h1 r1/2 Sonya Gray 16 Australia AUS
4 h2 r1/2 Gunilla Lundberg 19 Sweden SWE
4 h3 r1/2 Marion Platten 17 West Germany FRG
4 h4 r1/2 Lesleigh Harvey 15 Australia AUS
4 h5 r1/2 Guylaine Berger 20 France FRA
4 h6 r1/2 Michelle Ford 14 Australia AUS
5 h1 r1/2 Ratchaneewan Bulakul 13 Thailand THA
5 h2 r1/2 Jane Fayer 17 Puerto Rico PUR
5 h3 r1/2 Regina Nissen 15 West Germany FRG
5 h4 r1/2 Pia Mårtensson 17 Sweden SWE
5 h5 r1/2 Susan Edmondson 20 Great Britain GBR
5 h6 r1/2 Susan Barnard 15 Great Britain GBR
6 h1 r1/2 Vilborg Sverrisdóttir 19 Iceland ISL
6 h2 r1/2 Raphaelynne Lee 16 Hong Kong HKG
6 h3 r1/2 Deirdre Sheehan 18 Ireland IRL
6 h4 r1/2 Ann Bradshaw 19 Great Britain GBR
6 h5 r1/2 Vania Vázquez 15 Venezuela VEN
6 h6 r1/2 María París 15 Costa Rica CRC
7 h3 r1/2 Susana Coppo 16 Argentina ARG
7 h4 r1/2 Georgina Osorio 17 Panama PAN
7 h5 r1/2 Shelley Cramer 14 United States Virgin Islands ISV
7 h6 r1/2 María Pérez 13 Venezuela VEN