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Swimming at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's 100 metres Butterfly

Swimming at the 1988 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: September 21, 1988

Gold: SUR Anthony Nesty
Silver: USA Matt Biondi
Bronze: GBR Andy Jameson


The best butterflyer in the world for the last 5-6 years was American [Pedro Pablo Morales]. But he shockingly failed to make the US team at the Olympic Trials. This left his teammate [Matt Biondi] in the favorite’s role in Seoul. Biondi was attempting to emulate [Mark Spitz] and win seven gold medals, but the night before this final, the 1988 Olympics had started poorly for him when he won “only” a bronze medal in the 200 free.

In the butterfly final, Biondi went out ahead well ahead to the wall. He led the race until the last stroke, but as he neared the wall, he was between strokes and elected to kick in, only to be slightly farther out than he realized, and this allowed Suriname’s [Anthony Nesty] to pass him and win the gold medal by 1/100th of a second. Nesty was not unknown, having placed fourth at the 1986 World Championships, and winning gold at the 1987 Pan American Games, but this was an upset, and it was the first Olympic medal ever won for Suriname, and also made Nesty the first black swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal.

Nesty had trained and lived and went to college in the United States for several years. But he considered Suriname home and returned to a hero’s welcome, being showered with gifts. He would return to Barcelona four years hence and add a bronze medal in this event. Biondi recovered fairly well from his poor start in Seoul, winning five golds in his last five races.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalB FinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Anthony Nesty 20 Suriname SUR Gold OR
2 Matt Biondi 22 United States USA Silver
3 Andy Jameson 23 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Jon Sieben 22 Australia AUS
5 Michael Groß 24 West Germany FRG
6 Jay Mortenson 21 United States USA
7 Tom Ponting 23 Canada CAN
8 Vadym Yaroshchuk 22 Soviet Union URS
9 Shen Jianqiang 23 China CHN
10 Anthony Mosse 23 New Zealand NZL
11 Benny Nielsen 22 Denmark DEN
12 Vlastimil Cerny 25 Canada CAN
13 Rafał Szukała 17 Poland POL
14 Hiroshi Miura 22 Japan JPN
15 Zheng Jian 24 China CHN
16 Neil Cochran 23 Great Britain GBR
17 Martin Herrmann 18 West Germany FRG
18 José Luis Ballester 19 Spain ESP
19 Frank Drost 25 Netherlands NED
20 David Wilson 21 Australia AUS
21 Robert Wolf 17 Czechoslovakia TCH
22 Leonardo Michelotti 23 Italy ITA
23 Konstantin Petrov 24 Soviet Union URS
24 Yukinori Tanaka 22 Japan JPN
25 Ross Anderson 19 New Zealand NZL
26 Eduardo Poli 19 Brazil BRA
27 Ludovic Dépickère 19 France FRA
28 Valerio Giambalvo 20 Italy ITA
29 Reinhold Leitner 22 Austria AUT
30 Théophile David 24 Switzerland SUI
31 Joseph Buhain 18 Philippines PHI
32 Wladimir Ribeiro 21 Brazil BRA
33 Mabílio Albuquerque 19 Portugal POR
34 Paul Yelle 24 Barbados BAR
35 Ang Peng Siong 25 Singapore SIN
36 Theodoros Griniazakis 20 Greece GRE
37 Paulo Camacho 18 Portugal POR
38 Park Yeong-Cheol 19 South Korea KOR
39 Tsang Yi Ming 22 Hong Kong HKG
40 Urbano Zea 19 Mexico MEX
41 Carlos Romo 21 Mexico MEX
42 Pedro Lima 17 Angola ANG
43 Graham Thompson 24 Zimbabwe ZIM
44 Kristan Singleton 16 United States Virgin Islands ISV
45 William Cleveland 22 United States Virgin Islands ISV
46 Sergio Fafitine 19 Mozambique MOZ
47 Plutarco Castellanos 17 Honduras HON
48 Salam Mohamed Abdul Salam 29 Bangladesh BAN
49 Mohamed Bin Abid 19 United Arab Emirates UAE
50 Trevor Ncala 23 Swaziland SWZ
51 Jorge Gomes 16 Angola ANG