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| Event type

200 metres Freestyle, Men

Date29 August 1972
StatusOlympic
LocationSchwimmhalle, Olympiapark, München
Participants46 from 27 countries

Mark Spitz was the heavy favorite, as this was one of his four individual events in his attempt to win seven swimming gold medals in Munich. The day before the 200 freestyle, he had won his first two gold medals in the 200 butterfly and with the United States’ 4 x 100 freestyle relay team. His biggest challenger was thought to have been his teammate, Steve Genter, but Genter had been hospitalized in Munich only four days earlier with a collapsed lung (pneumothorax), and had to have the air and fluid drained from his chest cavity. However, Genter heroically came to the line on Tuesday morning for the prelims and qualified for the final easily.

In the final Spitz went out fast, leading Soviet Vladimir Bure, later a bronze medalist in the 100 free, at the first turn. But on the second lap, Genter took over the lead, 54.93 to Spitz’s 55.06. Spitz closed on the third lap, but Genter turned better to regain the lead for the final 50. Defending champion Michael Wenden of Australia closed to third at 150, but he fell back in the closing metres. The final lap was all Spitz who won by five metres and almost a second, with Genter taking a courageous silver. The bronze medal went to the fast closing Werner Lampe of West Germany. For Spitz it was three down, four to go.

PosSwimmerNOCR1Final
1Mark SpitzUSA1:55.29 (1 h7)1:52.78 (1)Gold
2Steve GenterUSA1:55.42 (1 h6)1:53.73 (2)Silver
3Werner LampeFRG1:55.97 (1 h3)1:53.99 (3)Bronze
4Mike WendenAUS1:56.66 (1 h1)1:54.40 (4)
5Fred TylerUSA1:56.04 (1 h5)1:54.96 (5)
6Klaus SteinbachFRG1:55.80 (1 h4)1:55.65 (6)
7Vladimir BureURS1:56.15 (1 h2)1:57.24 (7)
8Ralph HuttonCAN1:56.84 (2 h7)1:57.56 (8)
9Wilfried HartungGDR1:56.95 (2 h4)
10Brian BrinkleyGBR1:56.99 (2 h6)
11Georgijs KuļikovsURS1:57.04 (2 h2)
12Udo PoserGDR1:57.23 (3 h7)
13Gerardo VeraVEN1:57.33 (3 h4)
14Robert NayAUS1:57.69 (2 h1)
15Viktor MazanovURS1:57.92 (3 h1)
16Peter BruchGDR1:58.49 (2 h5)
17Graham WhiteAUS1:58.60 (2 h3)
18Peter PrijdekkerNED1:58.78 (3 h6)
19Bruce RobertsonCAN1:59.02 (3 h5)
20Hans LjungbergSWE1:59.42 (4 h1)
21Rolf PetterssonSWE2:00.02 (4 h7)
22FedolaBRA2:00.14 (5 h1)
23John MillsGBR2:00.17 (3 h3)
24Marian SlavicROU2:00.23 (4 h5)
25Olaf von SchillingFRG2:00.27 (4 h4)
26Colin HerringNZL2:00.29 (5 h5)
27Ruy OliveiraBRA2:00.48 (4 h6)
28Pierre CalandFRA2:00.75 (3 h2)
29Michael BaileyGBR2:00.79 (4 h2)
30Roberto PangaroITA2:00.97 (5 h6)
31Fritz WarnckeNOR2:00.98 (4 h3)
32Ian MacKenzieCAN2:01.22 (6 h5)
33Zbigniew PaceltPOL2:01.28 (5 h2)
34Bernt ZarnowieckiSWE2:01.34 (5 h4)
35Arnaldo CinquettiITA2:01.78 (6 h2)
36Riccardo TargettiITA2:02.58 (6 h4)
37Hanspeter WürmliSUI2:03.14 (7 h5)
38Roberto StraussMEX2:03.57 (8 h5)
39Ali Moustafa KenawiEGY2:05.30 (5 h3)
40Sandro RudanYUG2:05.88 (6 h6)
41Luis AyesaPHI2:05.97 (6 h3)
42Tomás RengifoESA2:08.67 (7 h6)
43Finnur GarðarssonISL2:08.88 (8 h6)
44Mark CrockerHKG2:12.85 (5 h7)
45Samnang PrakCAM2:13.34 (6 h7)
46Fawzi BurhmaKUW2:33.75 (7 h4)
DNSYuliyan RusevBUL– (DNS h1)
DNSJuan Carlos BelloPER– (DNS h1)
DNSBruno BassoulLBN– (DNS h2)
DNSAttila CsászáriHUN– (DNS h3)
DNSSalvador VilanovaESA– (DNS h7)
DNSGuillermo GarcíaMEX– (DNS h7)
DNSFernando GonzálezECU
DNSEduardo OrejuelaECU
DNSDaniel PinargoteECU
DNSAndrew YoungRHO

Round One (29 August 1972 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
1Mike WendenAUS1:56.66Q
2Robert NayAUS1:57.69
3Viktor MazanovURS1:57.92
4Hans LjungbergSWE1:59.42
5FedolaBRA2:00.14
DNSYuliyan RusevBUL
DNSJuan Carlos BelloPER

Heat Two

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
1Vladimir BureURS1:56.15Q
2Georgijs KuļikovsURS1:57.04
3Pierre CalandFRA2:00.75
4Michael BaileyGBR2:00.79
5Zbigniew PaceltPOL2:01.28
6Arnaldo CinquettiITA2:01.78
DNSBruno BassoulLBN

Heat Three

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
1Werner LampeFRG1:55.97Q
2Graham WhiteAUS1:58.60
3John MillsGBR2:00.17
4Fritz WarnckeNOR2:00.98
5Ali Moustafa KenawiEGY2:05.30
6Luis AyesaPHI2:05.97
DNSAttila CsászáriHUN

Heat Four

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
1Klaus SteinbachFRG1:55.80Q
2Wilfried HartungGDR1:56.95
3Gerardo VeraVEN1:57.33
4Olaf von SchillingFRG2:00.27
5Bernt ZarnowieckiSWE2:01.34
6Riccardo TargettiITA2:02.58
7Fawzi BurhmaKUW2:33.75

Heat Five

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
1Fred TylerUSA1:56.04Q
2Peter BruchGDR1:58.49
3Bruce RobertsonCAN1:59.02
4Marian SlavicROU2:00.23
5Colin HerringNZL2:00.29
6Ian MacKenzieCAN2:01.22
7Hanspeter WürmliSUI2:03.14
8Roberto StraussMEX2:03.57

Heat Six

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
1Steve GenterUSA1:55.42Q
2Brian BrinkleyGBR1:56.99
3Peter PrijdekkerNED1:58.78
4Ruy OliveiraBRA2:00.48
5Roberto PangaroITA2:00.97
6Sandro RudanYUG2:05.88
7Tomás RengifoESA2:08.67
8Finnur GarðarssonISL2:08.88

Heat Seven

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
1Mark SpitzUSA1:55.29Q
2Ralph HuttonCAN1:56.84Q
3Udo PoserGDR1:57.23
4Rolf PetterssonSWE2:00.02
5Mark CrockerHKG2:12.85
6Samnang PrakCAM2:13.34
DNSSalvador VilanovaESA
DNSGuillermo GarcíaMEX

Final (29 August 1972 — 18:40)

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTime
14Mark SpitzUSA1:52.78WR
25Steve GenterUSA1:53.73
36Werner LampeFRG1:53.99
41Mike WendenAUS1:54.40
52Fred TylerUSA1:54.96
63Klaus SteinbachFRG1:55.65
77Vladimir BureURS1:57.24
88Ralph HuttonCAN1:57.56