Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Indoor Swimming Pool, Olympic Park, Seoul
Date Started: September 18, 1988
Date Finished: September 19, 1988
[Kathleen Nord] (GDR) had won the 1986 World Championships, but the leader on the 1987 world list was young Romanian [NÃ¶emi Ildiko Lung]. Lung was an unknown quantity, out much of early 1988 with a sinus infection. However the favorite was American [Janet Evans], who was the leader on the 1988 world list, and had been World Swimmer of the Year in 1987, winning this event at the Pan Pacs.
The final began with a false start and then the opening butterfly leg was led by Nord, with Evans in almost a dead-heat for second. But Evans powered through the backstroke, opening up five full seconds on Nord, and leading second-placed Lung by over a second. She would increase her lead on the final two legs, winning over Lung by almost two seconds. Nord finished only fifth, as the bronze was won by her teammate, [Daniela Hunger], who would later win the 200 IM in Seoul.
Evans would eventually win three gold medals in Seoul, adding the 400 and 800 freestyles. She would not repeat as World Swimmer of the Year, that honor going to [Kristin Otto], based on her six gold medals, but Evans would win it again in 1989 and 1990.