| Event type

200 metres Butterfly, Men

Date24 October 1968
LocationAlberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez, Ciudad de México
Participants30 from 19 countries

Carl Robie had won a silver medal in the 200 fly in Tokyo, and he had set four world records in the event. But the last of those was in 1963, and the favorite in 1968 was Mark Spitz, who had set three world records in 1967 and was predicting that he could win six gold medals in Mexico City. This was his last chance for individual gold in 1968 as he had so far won only a silver and a bronze in his individual races. In the final, all three American swimmers false started when they hopped in the pool early, protesting the official’s ruling of not allowing the swimmers in the pool to get wet before the race. After the actual start, Robie took the lead at 100 metres with Spitz surprisingly last at that point. He was challenged on the third lap by Britain’s Martyn Woodroffe, but Robie never lost the lead and held on in the final lap to win gold by 0.3 seconds, Woodroffe placing second. John Ferris of the United States was third for most of the race and won the bronze medal, with Spitz a badly beaten eighth and last in the final. He would do a bit better in 1972, winning gold in this race, and fulfilling his prediction there to win seven gold medals.

1Carl RobieUSA2:11.1 (2 h5)2:08.7 (1)Gold
2Martyn WoodroffeGBR2:11.6 (1 h1)2:09.0 (2)Silver
3John FerrisUSA2:10.6 (1 h3)2:09.3 (3)Bronze
4Valentin KuzminURS2:11.5 (3 h5)2:10.6 (4)
5Peter FeilSWE2:11.9 (1 h2)2:10.9 (5)
6Folkert MeeuwFRG2:11.1 (2 h3)2:11.5 (6)
7Viktor SharyginURS2:10.9 (1 h5)2:11.9 (7)
8Mark SpitzUSA2:10.6 (1 h4)2:13.5 (8)
9Gabriel AltamiranoMEX2:12.1 (2 h2)
10John ThurleyGBR2:12.5 (3 h3)
11Tom ArusooCAN2:12.7 (3 h2)
12Sergey KonovURS2:13.1 (4 h2)
13Yasuo TakadaJPN2:13.3 (2 h1)
14Satoshi MaruyaJPN2:14.2 (2 h4)
15Avraham MelamedISR2:15.4 (3 h1)
16Lutz StoklasaFRG2:16.4 (3 h4)
17Tomás BecerraCOL2:16.8 (4 h4)
18Dick LangerhorstNED2:17.4 (4 h5)
19Graham DunnAUS2:17.5 (5 h5)
20Ron JacksCAN2:18.1 (4 h1)
21Giampiero FossatiITA2:18.2 (4 h3)
22Robert CusackAUS2:19.4 (5 h4)
23Angelo TozziITA2:20.9 (6 h4)
24Jacek KrawczykPOL2:22.1 (5 h3)
25Raúl VillagómezMEX2:22.4 (5 h1)
=26Eduardo OrejuelaECU2:23.4 (5 h2)
=26José FerraioliPUR2:23.4 (7 h4)
28Ramiro BenavidesGUA2:24.3 (6 h5)
29Leroy GoffPHI2:25.3 (7 h5)
30Arturo CarranzaESA2:47.3 (6 h1)
DNSBo WestergrenSWE– (DNS h1)
DNS NikitaBRA– (DNS h2)
DNSLee Tong-ShingTPE– (DNS h2)
DNSAndrew LohHKG– (DNS h3)
DNSAntonio AttanasioITA– (DNS h3)
DNSBob LohHKG– (DNS h4)

Round One (24 October 1968 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

17Martyn WoodroffeGBR2:11.6Q
23Yasuo TakadaJPN2:13.3
32Avraham MelamedISR2:15.4
45Ron JacksCAN2:18.1
56Raúl VillagómezMEX2:22.4
64Arturo CarranzaESA2:47.3
DNSBo WestergrenSWE

Heat Two

15Peter FeilSWE2:11.9Q
24Gabriel AltamiranoMEX2:12.1
33Tom ArusooCAN2:12.7
42Sergey KonovURS2:13.1
56Eduardo OrejuelaECU2:23.4
DNSLee Tong-ShingTPE

Heat Three

12John FerrisUSA2:10.6Q
25Folkert MeeuwFRG2:11.1Q
33John ThurleyGBR2:12.5
46Giampiero FossatiITA2:18.2
54Jacek KrawczykPOL2:22.1
DNSAndrew LohHKG
DNSAntonio AttanasioITA

Heat Four

13Mark SpitzUSA2:10.6Q
25Satoshi MaruyaJPN2:14.2
37Lutz StoklasaFRG2:16.4
41Tomás BecerraCOL2:16.8
52Robert CusackAUS2:19.4
64Angelo TozziITA2:20.9
76José FerraioliPUR2:23.4

Heat Five

15Viktor SharyginURS2:10.9Q
23Carl RobieUSA2:11.1Q
34Valentin KuzminURS2:11.5Q
46Dick LangerhorstNED2:17.4
51Graham DunnAUS2:17.5
62Ramiro BenavidesGUA2:24.3
77Leroy GoffPHI2:25.3

Final (24 October 1968 — 17:00)

12Carl RobieUSA2:08.7
21Martyn WoodroffeGBR2:09.0
34John FerrisUSA2:09.3
47Valentin KuzminURS2:10.6
58Peter FeilSWE2:10.9
66Folkert MeeuwFRG2:11.5
73Viktor SharyginURS2:11.9
85Mark SpitzUSA2:13.5