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Swimming





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Vladimir Salnikov (USSR) won three gold medals in swimming. He became the first man in history to break the magic 15 minute barrier in the 1500 metre freestyle, swimming's equivalent of breaking the 4-minute mile. He missed the LA Games because of the boycott but won gold again in this event at Seoul 88.

  • Salnikov also won gold in the 4x200m relay and the 400m freestyle. In the 400m freestyle he set a new Olympic record which was just eleven-hundredths of a second outside his own world record.
  • In the Montreal final of the 400m freestyle the 7th and 8th place finalists finished in over 4 minutes. In Moscow 16 swimmers finished in under 4 minutes and 8 of them didn't make the final.
  • Duncan Goodhew of Great Britain won the 100 metres breaststroke, beating Miskarov, a strongly favoured Soviet, into second place by half a second.
  • Sweden's Bengt Baron, participating in his 1st major international competition, won gold in the 100 meter backstroke ahead of 2 Soviets.
  • In the men's 4×100 metres medley relay each of the 8 teams taking part in the final broke its country's national record.
  • The first Australian gold since 1972 came in the 4×100 men's medley relay.[10] The Australians had been expecting to win silver behind the hot favourites from the USSR but with Neil Brooks swimming the final leg, the Australians swam the 2nd fastest time in history.
  • East German women dominated the swimming events, winning 9 of 11 individual titles, both the relays and setting 6 world records. They also won all 3 medals in 6 different races. In total they won 26 of the available 35 medals.
  • Barbara Krause (East Germany) became the first woman to go under 55 seconds for the 100 m freestyle.
  • Backstroker Rica Reinisch (East Germany) was 20th in the world rankings for 100m in 1979 and not in the top 100 for the 200 m. At the Olympics she broke the world records in both distances winning golds.
  • In the 100m butterfly Caren Metschuk (East Germany) beats her more experienced team-mate Andrea Pollack to win gold.
  • Petra Schneider (East Germany) shaved 3 seconds off the world record in the 400m medley.
  • As in Montreal the Soviet women made a clean sweep of the medals in the 200m breaststroke.
  • Yulia Bogdanova (USSR), the recent world title winner in the 200m breaststroke did not qualify for the Olympic final, the title in this event was won by her teammate Lina Kačiušytė.
  • The Soviet women swimmers in the 4×100 metres freestyle relay were disqualified.
  • Michelle Ford (Australia) won the 800m freestyle more than 4 seconds ahead of her East German rivals.
  • In swimming 230 national, 22 Olympic and 10 World records were set.
  • Poland won its first ever swimming medal.
  • The youngest male gold medallist of these Olympics was Hungarian backstroke swimmer Sándor Wladár, 17 years and 1 week old.
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