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Swimming at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Breaststroke

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 23, 1988
Date Finished: September 23, 1988

Gold: HUN József Szabó
Silver: GBR Nick Gillingham
Bronze: ESP Sergio López


Hungaryian [József Szabó] was the favorite coming into Seoul, having won the 1986 World Championships and the 1987 Europeans, but he was recovering from knee surgery in December 1987. Szabó had pioneered a new rolling-style “wave-action” breaststroke technique and moved well ahead of his competitors, but others were learning it, notably American [Mike Barrowman], almost breaking the world record at the US Olympic Trials in August. Barrowman had been taught it by Szabó’s coach, József Nagy.

The final started out at sprint pace, led by Soviet [Valery Lozik], but Szabó caught him at the end of the third lap, and Lozik would drop back to fifth. Szabó could not be caught, with silver going to Britain’s [Nick Gillingham] and bronze to Spain’s unheralded [Sergio López]. Barrowman dropped back to fourth, but would dominate the event over the next quadrennium and win the gold in Barcelona.

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