| Event type

200 metres Breaststroke, Men

Date24 July 1976
LocationPiscine olympique, Montréal, Québec
Participants29 from 19 countries

David Wilkie of Great Britain was the slight favorite in this event, but a close contest was expected with his great rival, American John Hencken. Wilkie was World Champion in the 200 breast in 1973 and 1975, but four days earlier, Hencken had won the 100 breaststroke, Wilkie placing second. So far in Montréal, American men had won every gold medal when the final of this event started, and there the streak would end. Hencken swam wonderfully, almost a full second ahead of his world record, finishing in 2:17.26. He led through 100 metres, but Wilkie went ahead by the third lap, and shattered the world record with 2:15.11, over two seconds ahead of his rival. The mark would last as the world record for over six years. The Olympic gold medal was the first by a British male since 1908.

1David WilkieGBR2:18.29 (1 h4)2:15.11 (1)Gold
2John HenckenUSA2:21.23 (1 h3)2:17.26 (2)Silver
3Rick ColellaUSA2:21.08 (1 h2)2:19.20 (3)Bronze
4Graham SmithCAN2:22.24 (1 h1)2:19.42 (4)
5Charles KeatingUSA2:22.22 (2 h4)2:20.79 (5)
6Arvydas JuozaitisURS2:22.59 (2 h1)2:21.87 (6)
7Nikolay PankinURS2:22.82 (2 h2)2:22.21 (7)
8Walter KuschFRG2:22.95 (2 h3)2:22.36 (8)
9Aigars KudisURS2:23.45 (3 h4)
10Ove WisløffNOR2:23.49 (4 h4)
11Giorgio LalleITA2:23.63 (3 h2)
12Nobutaka TaguchiJPN2:24.12 (3 h3)
13Anders NorlingSWE2:24.61 (3 h1)
14Peter LangFRG2:24.96 (4 h1)
15Dave HeinbuchCAN2:25.29 (4 h3)
16David LeighGBR2:25.58 (4 h2)
17Steffen KriechbaumAUT2:25.73 (5 h3)
18Tuomo KerolaFIN2:25.87 (5 h1)
19Tateki ShinyaJPN2:26.16 (5 h2)
20Orlando CatinchiPUR2:26.27 (5 h4)
21Cezary ŚmiglakPOL2:27.41 (6 h4)
22Paul JarvieAUS2:30.15 (6 h3)
23Gustavo LozanoMEX2:31.89 (6 h2)
24Zdravko DivjakYUG2:34.07 (7 h4)
25Julio AbreuPAR2:35.22 (6 h1)
26Henrique VicêncioPOR2:41.97 (7 h3)
DQSérgio RibeiroBRA– (DQ h1)
DQCarlos NazarioPUR– (DQ h2)
DQPaul NaisbyGBR– (DQ h4)
DNSWolfram SperlingGDR– (DNS h1)
DNSAlbán VermesHUN– (DNS h3)

Round One (24 July 1976 — 10:30)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

14Graham SmithCAN2:22.24Q
25Arvydas JuozaitisURS2:22.59Q
36Anders NorlingSWE2:24.61
47Peter LangFRG2:24.96
52Tuomo KerolaFIN2:25.87
68Julio AbreuPAR2:35.22
DQ3Sérgio RibeiroBRA
DNS1Wolfram SperlingGDR

Heat Two

14Rick ColellaUSA2:21.08QOR
25Nikolay PankinURS2:22.82Q
33Giorgio LalleITA2:23.63
46David LeighGBR2:25.58
57Tateki ShinyaJPN2:26.16
61Gustavo LozanoMEX2:31.89
DQ2Carlos NazarioPUR

Heat Three

14John HenckenUSA2:21.23Q
26Walter KuschFRG2:22.95Q
33Nobutaka TaguchiJPN2:24.12
42Dave HeinbuchCAN2:25.29
57Steffen KriechbaumAUT2:25.73
61Paul JarvieAUS2:30.15
78Henrique VicêncioPOR2:41.97
DNS5Albán VermesHUN

Heat Four

14David WilkieGBR2:18.29QOR
23Charles KeatingUSA2:22.22Q
35Aigars KudisURS2:23.45
46Ove WisløffNOR2:23.49
51Orlando CatinchiPUR2:26.27
67Cezary ŚmiglakPOL2:27.41
78Zdravko DivjakYUG2:34.07
DQ2Paul NaisbyGBR

Final (24 July 1976 — 19:30)

14David WilkieGBR2:15.11WR
23John HenckenUSA2:17.26
35Rick ColellaUSA2:19.20
42Graham SmithCAN2:19.42
56Charles KeatingUSA2:20.79
67Arvydas JuozaitisURS2:21.87
71Nikolay PankinURS2:22.21
88Walter KuschFRG2:22.36