Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 23, 1988
Date Finished: September 23, 1988
Hungaryian [JÃ³zsef SzabÃ³] 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. SzabÃ³ had pioneered a new rolling-style âwave-actionâ 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 SzabÃ³âs coach, JÃ³zsef Nagy.
The final started out at sprint pace, led by Soviet [Valery Lozik], but SzabÃ³ caught him at the end of the third lap, and Lozik would drop back to fifth. SzabÃ³ could not be caught, with silver going to Britainâs [Nick Gillingham] and bronze to Spainâs unheralded [Sergio LÃ³pez]. Barrowman dropped back to fourth, but would dominate the event over the next quadrennium and win the gold in Barcelona.