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Swimming at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Women's 200 metres Backstroke

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 25, 1988
Date Finished: September 25, 1988

Gold: HUN Krisztina Egerszegi
Silver: GDR Kathrin Zimmermann
Bronze: GDR Cornelia Sirch


As a 12-year-old, [Krisztina Egerszegi] had débuted at the 1987 European Championships, placing fourth in the 200 back. A few days prior to this race she had placed second in the 100 back to East German wonder woman [Kristin Otto], and that gave her encouragement for the 200. But the favorite in this event was another East German, [Cornelia Sirch]. Sirch went to the 100 in the final with a slight lead over Egerszegi but the Hungarian teenager blitzed the third lap, and came home for the gold medal in the second fastest time ever, 2:09.29. Sirch was worn out from her early effort and was passed for silver by her teammate, [Kathrin Zimmerman], although Sirch held on for bronze.

Of Egerszegi, Sirch said, “I'm sure she has a great future before her. I'm certain she will break new ground in backstroke swimming.” You could say that. This was the first of three consecutive gold medals in the event for Krisztina Egerszegi, something accomplished in a single Olympic event only by Australian sprint freestyler [Dawn Fraser] in the women’s 100 free. She would eventually end her Olympic career with five individual gold medals, four in backstroke events, and seven medals in all, an unequalled Olymic best for swimming through 2008. She would win both backstrokes at the 1991 World Championships, and nine titles at the Europeans from 1991-95. In 1992 she won the Europeans in a world record 2:06.62, which would stand as the world record until 2008.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalB FinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Krisztina Egerszegi 14 Hungary HUN Gold OR
2 Kathrin Zimmermann 21 East Germany GDR Silver
3 Cornelia Sirch 21 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Beth Barr 16 United States USA
5 Nicole Livingstone-Stevenson 17 Australia AUS
6 Andrea Hayes 19 United States USA
7 Jolanda de Rover 24 Netherlands NED
8 Svenja Schlicht 21 West Germany FRG
9 Aneta Pătrăşcoiu 20 Romania ROU
10 Sharon Musson 18 New Zealand NZL
11 Lin Li 17 China CHN
12 Kathy Read 19 Great Britain GBR
13 Lorenza Vigarani 18 Italy ITA
14T Karen Lord 18 Australia AUS
14T Satoko Morishita 14 Japan JPN
AC r2/2 Johanna Larsson 16 Sweden SWE DQ
17 Michelle Smith 18 Ireland IRL
18 Aileen Convery 19 Ireland IRL
19 Lori Melien 16 Canada CAN
20 Tomoko Onogi 18 Japan JPN
21 Sylvia Hume 20 New Zealand NZL
22 Helen Slatter 18 Great Britain GBR
23 Wang Bolin 17 China CHN
24 Rita Garay 17 Puerto Rico PUR
25 Christine Magnier 19 France FRA
26 Hong Ji-Hui 15 South Korea KOR
27 Eva Gysling 21 Switzerland SUI
28 Katja Ziliox 18 West Germany FRG
29 Ana Fortin 16 Honduras HON
30 Tricia Duncan 15 United States Virgin Islands ISV
31 Wang Chi 18 Chinese Taipei TPE
32 Sharon Pickering 20 Fiji FIJ