Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Bernat Picornell Pools, Barcelona
Date Started: July 27, 1992
Date Finished: July 27, 1992
|Silver:||Franziska van Almsick|
The 1991 World Champion was [Hayley Lewis] but she did not make the Australian team for this event. The 1991 Pan Pacs had been won by American [Nicole Haislett], who was favored in Lewisâs absence, but the best qualifying time was posted by 14-year-old German [Franziska van Almsick], who recorded 1:57.90, the fifth fastest performance of all-time. Van Almsick had first been noticed at the German Nationals in April when she won this race in 2:00.05 before she had turned 14.
In the final, van Almsick went out quickly, leading at 50 metres. Haislett was next to her and was surprised to see the youthful van Almsick swimming next to her lane rope. Haislett moved over and drafted off her, as they swam-for-stroke for most of the race. Haislett did not take the lead until 10 metres from the wall, and outtouched van Almsick, 1:57.90 to 1:58.00.
Van Almsick would win 10 Olympic medals in her career, but never a gold, and this race was as close as she ever came to the top step of the podium. Haislett competed only at one Olympics, 1992, winning three gold medals, with two in relays. At the 1990 Goodwill Games she had become the first American to defeat an East German freestyler since 1972.