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| Event type

4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men

Date21 October 1968
StatusOlympic
LocationAlberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez, Ciudad de México
Participants68 from 16 countries

Let’s see – the United States would swim Mark Spitz on the third leg, the man who would soon become known as the greatest swimmer ever (at least until Michael Phelps), and then would anchor with Don Schollander, possibly the greatest ever 200 metre freestyler, based on multiple world record performances. That didn’t seem to give anyone else too much chance. In the heats the USA put out their junior varsity and still qualified first for the final. Frank Wiegand of East Germany actually led the first leg over John Nelson of the USA, 1:58.4 to 1:58.6, but on the second leg Steve Rerych put the Americans ahead and gave the lead to Spitz. But Spitz was tired from the effects of the altitude in Mexico City and swam a lackluster 2:00.5, almost being caught by Australia’s Bob Windle. The anchor leg matched Schollander against Mike Wenden, who had already won the 100 freestyle in Mexico City, and would add to that the 200 free in three days. Wenden gained a small amount on Schollander but not nearly enough as the USA won gold in a much closer race than was expected, with Australia second and the Soviet Union well back in third. The United States’ world and Olympic record of 7:52.1 survived this race, likely due to the effects of altitude.

PosSwimmerNOCR1Final
1United StatesUSA8:05.1 (1 h2)7:52.3 (1)Gold
John NelsonSteve RerychMark SpitzDon SchollanderWilliam JohnsonDavid JohnsonAndy StrenkMike Wall
2AustraliaAUS8:04.8 (1 h1)7:53.7 (2)Silver
Greg RogersGraham WhiteBob WindleMike Wenden
3Soviet UnionURS8:07.6 (1 h3)8:01.6 (3)Bronze
Vladimir BureSemyon Belits-GeymanGeorgijs KuļikovsLeonid Ilyichov
4CanadaCAN8:10.5 (2 h1)8:03.2 (4)
George SmithRon JacksSandy GilchristRalph Hutton
5FranceFRA8:06.3 (2 h2)8:03.7 (5)
Michel RousseauGérard LetastFrancis LuyceAlain Mosconi
6West GermanyFRG8:07.1 (3 h2)8:04.3 (6)
Hans FaßnachtOlaf von SchillingFolkert MeeuwWolfgang Kremer
7East GermanyGDR8:11.2 (2 h3)8:06.0 (7)
Frank WiegandHorst-Günter GregorAlfred MüllerJochen Herbst
8SwedenSWE8:10.9 (3 h1)8:12.1 (8)
Hans LjungbergOlle FermGunnar LarssonLester Eriksson
9JapanJPN8:14.1 (3 h3)
Kunihiro IwasakiTeruhiko KitaniNoboru WasedaSatoru Nakano
10Great BritainGBR8:16.3 (4 h1)
John ThurleyRaymond TerrellBobby McGregorTony Jarvis
11NetherlandsNED8:17.0 (4 h2)
Dick LangerhorstJohan SchansAad OudtElt Drenth
12SpainESP8:23.6 (4 h3)
Juan FortunySantiago EstevaJosé Antonio ChicoyJuan Martínez
13ColombiaCOL8:26.7 (5 h1)
Tomás BecerraFederico SicardRicardo GonzálezJulio Arango
14Puerto RicoPUR8:40.2 (6 h1)
José FerraioliMichael GoodnerGary GoodnerJorge González
15PhilippinesPHI8:41.0 (5 h2)
Roosevelt AbdulgafurTony AsamaliLeroy GoffLuis Ayesa
ACMexicoMEX– (AC h3)DQ
Juan AlanísJorge UrretaRafaél CalEduardo Alanís

Round One (21 October 1968 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
17AustraliaAUS8:04.8Q
Greg Rogers2:00.72:00.7 (1)
Graham White2:01.24:01.9 (1)
Bob Windle2:03.56:05.4 (1)
Mike Wenden1:59.48:04.8 (1)
24CanadaCAN8:10.5Q
George Smith2:03.62:03.6 (2)
Ron Jacks2:04.54:08.1 (2)
Sandy Gilchrist2:01.66:09.7 (2)
Ralph Hutton2:00.88:10.5 (2)
35SwedenSWE8:10.9Q
Hans Ljungberg2:02.42:02.4 (3)
Olle Ferm2:04.94:07.3 (3)
Gunnar Larsson2:02.26:09.5 (3)
Lester Eriksson2:01.48:10.9 (3)
46Great BritainGBR8:16.3
John Thurley2:03.32:03.3 (4)
Raymond Terrell2:04.64:07.9 (4)
Bobby McGregor2:03.66:11.5 (4)
Tony Jarvis2:04.88:16.3 (4)
52ColombiaCOL8:26.7
Tomás Becerra2:07.02:07.0 (5)
Federico Sicard2:10.14:17.1 (5)
Ricardo González2:07.96:25.0 (5)
Julio Arango2:01.78:26.7 (5)
63Puerto RicoPUR8:40.2
José Ferraioli2:08.22:08.2 (6)
Michael Goodner2:12.34:20.5 (6)
Gary Goodner2:07.86:28.3 (6)
Jorge González2:11.98:40.2 (6)

Heat Two

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
13United StatesUSA8:05.1Q
William Johnson2:00.22:00.2 (1)
David Johnson2:02.94:03.1 (1)
Andy Strenk2:01.46:04.5 (1)
Mike Wall2:00.68:05.1 (1)
24FranceFRA8:06.3Q
Michel Rousseau2:01.02:01.0 (2)
Gérard Letast2:02.94:03.9 (2)
Francis Luyce2:03.46:07.3 (2)
Alain Mosconi1:59.08:06.3 (2)
35West GermanyFRG8:07.1Q
Hans Faßnacht2:00.92:00.9 (3)
Wolfgang Kremer2:01.54:02.4 (3)
Folkert Meeuw2:04.16:06.5 (3)
Olaf von Schilling2:00.68:07.1 (3)
42NetherlandsNED8:17.0
Dick Langerhorst2:02.82:02.8 (4)
Johan Schans2:04.24:07.0 (4)
Aad Oudt2:05.06:12.0 (4)
Elt Drenth2:05.08:17.0 (4)
56PhilippinesPHI8:41.0
Roosevelt Abdulgafur2:04.12:04.1 (5)
Tony Asamali2:05.04:09.1 (5)
Leroy Goff2:19.16:28.2 (5)
Luis Ayesa2:12.88:41.0 (5)

Heat Three

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
14Soviet UnionURS8:07.6Q
Vladimir Bure2:02.82:02.8 (1)
Semyon Belits-Geyman2:02.24:05.0 (1)
Georgijs Kuļikovs2:01.76:06.7 (1)
Leonid Ilyichov2:00.98:07.6 (1)
25East GermanyGDR8:11.2Q
Frank Wiegand2:02.42:02.4 (2)
Horst-Günter Gregor2:02.74:05.1 (2)
Alfred Müller2:03.06:08.1 (2)
Jochen Herbst2:03.18:11.2 (2)
36JapanJPN8:14.1
Kunihiro Iwasaki2:02.22:02.2 (3)
Teruhiko Kitani2:03.44:05.6 (3)
Noboru Waseda2:04.26:09.8 (3)
Satoru Nakano2:04.38:14.1 (3)
42SpainESP8:23.6
Juan Fortuny2:06.32:06.3 (4)
Santiago Esteva2:05.34:11.6 (4)
José Antonio Chicoy2:06.16:17.7 (4)
Juan Martínez2:05.98:23.6 (4)
AC3MexicoMEXDQ
Juan Alanís2:05.72:05.7 (AC)
Jorge Urreta2:08.14:13.8 (AC)
Rafaél Cal2:05.16:18.9 (AC)
Eduardo Alanís2:05.78:24.6 (AC)

Final (21 October 1968 — 17:00)

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
15United StatesUSA7:52.3
John Nelson1:58.61:58.6 (1)
Steve Rerych1:58.63:57.2 (1)
Mark Spitz2:00.55:57.7 (1)
Don Schollander1:54.67:52.3 (1)
24AustraliaAUS7:53.7
Greg Rogers1:59.81:59.8 (2)
Graham White1:59.93:59.7 (2)
Bob Windle1:59.75:59.4 (2)
Mike Wenden1:54.37:53.7 (2)
32Soviet UnionURS8:01.6
Vladimir Bure2:02.32:02.3 (3)
Semyon Belits-Geyman2:01.24:03.5 (3)
Georgijs Kuļikovs2:00.56:04.0 (3)
Leonid Ilyichov1:57.68:01.6 (3)
47CanadaCAN8:03.2
George Smith2:01.62:01.6 (4)
Ron Jacks2:02.54:04.1 (4)
Sandy Gilchrist2:01.56:05.6 (4)
Ralph Hutton1:57.68:03.2 (4)
53FranceFRA8:03.7
Michel Rousseau1:59.51:59.5 (5)
Gérard Letast2:02.84:02.3 (5)
Francis Luyce2:03.66:05.9 (5)
Alain Mosconi1:57.88:03.7 (5)
66West GermanyFRG8:04.3
Hans Faßnacht2:00.52:00.5 (6)
Olaf von Schilling2:01.34:01.8 (6)
Folkert Meeuw2:01.96:03.7 (6)
Wolfgang Kremer2:00.68:04.3 (6)
78East GermanyGDR8:06.0
Frank Wiegand1:58.41:58.4 (7)
Horst-Günter Gregor2:02.64:01.0 (7)
Alfred Müller2:01.36:02.3 (7)
Jochen Herbst2:03.78:06.0 (7)
81SwedenSWE8:12.1
Hans Ljungberg2:01.92:01.9 (8)
Olle Ferm2:01.44:03.3 (8)
Gunnar Larsson2:04.76:08.0 (8)
Lester Eriksson2:04.18:12.1 (8)