| Event type

200 metres Freestyle, Women

Date22 July 1976
LocationPiscine olympique, Montréal, Québec
Participants40 from 22 countries

Shirley Babashoff had won this event at the 1975 World Championships but in June 1976, the GDR’s Kornelia Ender became the first woman to swim 200 metres in under two minutes, breaking the world record in Berlin in 1:59.78. On the night of the 200 final, Ender won the 100 metre butterfly gold medal, finishing at 1948. She received her gold medal for that event at 2001, and seven minutes later was back on the pool deck for the 200 freestyle final.

Ender had a new plan for the final. At the 1975 World she had taken it out hard and died on the final 100 to allow Babashoff to pass her the title. In Montréal she let Babashoff take the lead through 100 metres, and they were virtually even at 150. Then Ender turned on the jets, finishing the final 50 in 28.88, almost as fast as her opening 50 of 28.63, and beating Babashoff with another world record of 1:59.26. Dutchwoman Enith Brigitha placed third, as she had in the 100 freestyle a few days before. Ender would finish the Montréal Olympics with four gold medals, and one silver, added to the three silvers she had won in Munich, when she was only 13-years-old.

1Kornelia EnderGDR2:02.50 (1 h6)1:59.26 (1)Gold
2Shirley BabashoffUSA2:01.64 (1 h5)2:01.22 (2)Silver
3Enith BrigithaNED2:01.54 (1 h4)2:01.40 (3)Bronze
4Annelies MaasNED2:03.01 (2 h5)2:02.56 (4)
5Gail AmundrudCAN2:03.85 (1 h2)2:03.32 (5)
6Jennifer HookerUSA2:03.72 (2 h4)2:04.20 (6)
7Claudia HempelGDR2:03.36 (1 h1)2:04.61 (7)
8Irina VlasovaURS2:03.67 (1 h3)2:05.63 (8)
=9Rebecca PerrottNZL2:03.94 (2 h3)
=9Jill SterkelUSA2:03.94 (2 h6)
11Larisa TsaryovaURS2:03.98 (2 h1)
12Ineke RanNED2:05.01 (3 h6)
13Debbie ClarkeCAN2:05.10 (2 h2)
14Anne JardinCAN2:05.28 (3 h5)
15Lyubov KobzovaURS2:05.55 (3 h2)
16Michelle FordAUS2:05.72 (4 h6)
17Andrea PollackGDR2:06.12 (3 h3)
18Marion PlattenFRG2:06.70 (4 h3)
19Guylaine BergerFRA2:06.74 (4 h5)
20Anne RichardBEL2:07.90 (3 h4)
21Jutta WeberFRG2:08.02 (3 h1)
22Lesleigh HarveyAUS2:08.60 (4 h4)
23Susan BarnardGBR2:08.76 (5 h6)
24Gunilla LundbergSWE2:09.51 (4 h2)
25Pia MårtenssonSWE2:09.85 (5 h4)
26Susan EdmondsonGBR2:10.08 (5 h5)
27Sonya GrayAUS2:10.73 (4 h1)
28Ann BradshawGBR2:10.93 (6 h4)
29Rachaniwan BulakulTHA2:12.92 (5 h1)
30María ParísCRC2:13.17 (6 h6)
31Vania VázquezVEN2:13.54 (6 h5)
32María PérezVEN2:13.97 (7 h6)
33Vilborg SverrisdóttirISL2:14.27 (6 h1)
34Regina NissenFRG2:14.66 (5 h3)
35Shelley CramerISV2:14.94 (7 h5)
36Deirdre SheehanIRL2:15.69 (6 h3)
37Georgina OsorioPAN2:19.06 (7 h4)
38Susana CoppoARG2:19.26 (7 h3)
39Jane FayerPUR2:19.93 (5 h2)
40Raphaelynne LeeHKG2:20.76 (6 h2)
DNSMaría RamónCUB– (DNS h2)
DNSMyriam MizouniTUN– (DNS h6)

Round One (22 July 1976 — 11:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

14Claudia HempelGDR2:03.36QOR
23Larisa TsaryovaURS2:03.98
36Jutta WeberFRG2:08.02
45Sonya GrayAUS2:10.73
57Rachaniwan BulakulTHA2:12.92
61Vilborg SverrisdóttirISL2:14.27

Heat Two

14Gail AmundrudCAN2:03.85Q
25Debbie ClarkeCAN2:05.10
33Lyubov KobzovaURS2:05.55
46Gunilla LundbergSWE2:09.51
52Jane FayerPUR2:19.93
61Raphaelynne LeeHKG2:20.76
DNS7María RamónCUB

Heat Three

13Irina VlasovaURS2:03.67Q
25Rebecca PerrottNZL2:03.94
34Andrea PollackGDR2:06.12
46Marion PlattenFRG2:06.70
52Regina NissenFRG2:14.66
67Deirdre SheehanIRL2:15.69
71Susana CoppoARG2:19.26

Heat Four

14Enith BrigithaNED2:01.54QOR
25Jennifer HookerUSA2:03.72Q
37Anne RichardBEL2:07.90
43Lesleigh HarveyAUS2:08.60
56Pia MårtenssonSWE2:09.85
62Ann BradshawGBR2:10.93
71Georgina OsorioPAN2:19.06

Heat Five

14Shirley BabashoffUSA2:01.64Q
23Annelies MaasNED2:03.01Q
35Anne JardinCAN2:05.28
46Guylaine BergerFRA2:06.74
52Susan EdmondsonGBR2:10.08
67Vania VázquezVEN2:13.54
71Shelley CramerISV2:14.94

Heat Six

14Kornelia EnderGDR2:02.50Q
25Jill SterkelUSA2:03.94
36Ineke RanNED2:05.01
43Michelle FordAUS2:05.72
52Susan BarnardGBR2:08.76
61María ParísCRC2:13.17
77María PérezVEN2:13.97
DNS8Myriam MizouniTUN

Final (22 July 1976 — 19:45)

13Kornelia EnderGDR1:59.26WR
25Shirley BabashoffUSA2:01.22
34Enith BrigithaNED2:01.40
46Annelies MaasNED2:02.56
58Gail AmundrudCAN2:03.32
61Jennifer HookerUSA2:04.20
72Claudia HempelGDR2:04.61
87Irina VlasovaURS2:05.63