Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 20, 1988
Date Finished: September 21, 1988
In an unusual situation for an Olympic relay, this was considered wide-open and the United States was not favored. West Germany held the world record of 7:13.10, set in 1987 in Strasbourg, France. At the 1986 World Championships, East Germany had won with West Germany and the USA only third. In the heats the GDR team qualified first, and that was with the USA only resting two swimmers for the final. East Germany looked formidable when [Uwe DaÃler] took a 1.11 second lead over [Troy Dalbey] on the opening leg, although Sweden's [Anders Holmertz] had the lead at 1:48.06. Italy then took the lead after two legs, with [Giorgio Lamberti] splitting 1:47.29, but they would soon drop back. At this point the US was only fifth, also trailing East Germany, Sweden, and West Germany, although the gap to East Germany had closed. After three legs East Germany moved into the lead, with the American team about one body length in arrears. Then [Matt Biondi] took over. His start on the exchange made up almost half the lead and at the 700 metre mark he was in front. He never let up, swimming the fastest split in history with 1:46.44 as the USA came home in 7:12.51 for gold and the world record. East Germany was over a second behind for silver with West Germany getting bronze.
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