| Event type

200 metres Freestyle, Men

Date18 – 19 September 1988
LocationSu-yeong-jang, Ol-lim-pik Gong-won, Seoul
Participants63 from 41 countries

In 1984 Australian Jon Sieben, swimming in lane six, had won the 200 butterfly in a big upset over West German Michael Groß. When Australia’s Duncan Armstrong won this event in Seoul in the world record time of 1:47.25, his coach, Laurie Lawrence, shouted out, “That’s right, mate! Lucky lane 6!” Armstrong’s victory was one of the biggest upsets in Seoul, as he came into the Olympics ranked 46th in the world, after ranking 25th in 1987.

There were several contenders considered before the race, but Armstrong was not among them. Sweden’s Anders Holmertz had won the 1987 Europeans, while Groß was the 1986 World Champion. Groß still held the world record, set when he won the 1984 Olympic gold medal. American Matt Biondi was formidable, but he was slightly better in the sprints. The fastest time in the prelims was set by Poland’s Artur Wojdat. In the final, Armstrong lined up next to Biondi in lane five. Armstrong swam as close to Biondi’s lane marker as he could, drafting in his wake for the first 100 metres. Biondi led at 150 with Holmertz second, but Armstrong came home the fastest for the gold medal, Holmertz in second and Biondi dropping back to bronze.

PosSwimmerNOCR1B FinalFinal
1Duncan ArmstrongAUS1:48.86 (2 h9)1:47.25 (1)Gold
2Anders HolmertzSWE1:49.28 (1 h7)1:47.89 (2)Silver
3Matt BiondiUSA1:48.39 (2 h8)1:47.99 (3)Bronze
4Artur WojdatPOL1:48.02 (1 h8)1:48.40 (4)
5Michael GroßFRG1:48.55 (1 h9)1:48.59 (5)
6Steffen ZesnerGDR1:49.13 (4 h8)1:48.77 (6)
7Troy DalbeyUSA1:48.96 (3 h9)1:48.86 (7)
8Thomas FahrnerFRG1:49.02 (3 h8)1:49.19 (8)
9Roberto GleriaITA1:49.51 (4 h9)1:49.28 (1)
10Thomas FlemmingGDR1:49.52 (5 h9)1:50.18 (2)
11Tom StachewiczAUS1:51.02 (6 h7)1:50.83 (3)
12Aleksey KuznetsovURS1:50.84 (4 h7)1:51.03 (4)
13Franz MortensenDEN1:51.15 (5 h8)1:51.44 (5)
14Mariusz PodkościelnyPOL1:50.95 (5 h7)1:51.63 (6)
15Shigeo OgataJPN1:51.14 (1 h6)1:51.89 (7)
16Paul HoweGBR1:51.22 (7 h7)1:51.99 (8)
17Stéphan CaronFRA1:49.66 (2 h7)1
18Giorgio LambertiITA1:50.47 (3 h7)2
19Carlos ScanavinoURU1:51.42 (6 h8)
20Alberto BottiniSUI1:51.45 (8 h7)
21Tom WernerSWE1:51.96 (7 h8)
22Iurie BaşcatovURS1:52.04 (6 h9)
23Cristiano MichelenaBRA1:52.34 (7 h9)
24Patrick DybionaNED1:52.67 (1 h5)
25Stéfan VolérySUI1:52.94 (2 h5)
26Rodrigo GonzálezMEX1:52.99 (3 h5)
27Michael GreenGBR1:53.03 (2 h6)
=28Daniel SerraESP1:53.05 (=3 h6)
=28Magnús ÓlafssonISL1:53.05 (=3 h6)
30Júlio LópezBRA1:53.16 (5 h6)
31Jan LarsenDEN1:53.61 (6 h6)
32Ignacio EscamillaMEX1:53.63 (4 h5)
33Jean-Marie ArnouldBEL1:53.73 (7 h6)
34Zoltán SzilágyiHUN1:53.75 (8 h6)
35Ludovic DépickèreFRA1:53.81 (8 h8)
36Salvador VassalloPUR1:53.82 (5 h5)
37Norbert ÁghHUN1:54.72 (8 h9)
38Yves ClausseLUX1:54.90 (6 h5)
39Xie JunCHN1:55.04 (7 h5)
40René ConcepcionPHI1:55.58 (1 h4)
41Alexander PlachetaAUT1:56.11 (2 h4)
42Vaughan SmithZIM1:56.13 (8 h5)
43David LimSGP1:56.44 (1 h3)
44Eric BuhainPHI1:56.84 (2 h3)
45Gwon Sang-WonKOR1:56.88 (3 h3)
46Oon Jin GeeSGP1:57.28 (4 h3)
47Moustafa AmerEGY1:57.50 (3 h4)
48Richard BeraINA1:57.60 (4 h4)
49Jonathan SakovichGUM1:57.72 (5 h4)
50Stephen CullenIRL1:57.90 (6 h4)
51Arthur LiHKG1:58.10 (5 h3)
52Hakan EskioğluTUR1:58.45 (7 h4)
53Jeffrey OngMAS1:58.62 (8 h4)
54Gwon Sun-GeunKOR1:58.95 (6 h3)
55Wu Ming-HsunTPE2:00.43 (1 h2)
56Tsang Yi MingHKG2:01.02 (7 h3)
57Richard GheelIRL2:01.73 (8 h3)
58Hans FoersterISV2:01.94 (2 h2)
59Kristan SingletonISV2:06.45 (3 h2)
60Jason ChuteFIJ2:09.05 (4 h2)
61Mohamed Bin AbidUAE2:09.43 (5 h2)
62Ahmad FarajUAE2:13.21 (6 h2)
63Émile LahoudLBN2:16.39 (7 h2)

Round One (18 September 1988 — 9:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final. Places 9-16 advanced to the B Final.

Heat One

Heat Two

14Wu Ming-HsunTPE2:00.43
25Hans FoersterISV2:01.94
33Kristan SingletonISV2:06.45
41Jason ChuteFIJ2:09.05
57Mohamed Bin AbidUAE2:09.43
62Ahmad FarajUAE2:13.21
76Émile LahoudLBN2:16.39

Heat Three

11David LimSGP1:56.44
24Eric BuhainPHI1:56.84
33Gwon Sang-WonKOR1:56.88
45Oon Jin GeeSGP1:57.28
57Arthur LiHKG1:58.10
66Gwon Sun-GeunKOR1:58.95
78Tsang Yi MingHKG2:01.02
82Richard GheelIRL2:01.73

Heat Four

12René ConcepcionPHI1:55.58
25Alexander PlachetaAUT1:56.11
34Moustafa AmerEGY1:57.50
47Richard BeraINA1:57.60
56Jonathan SakovichGUM1:57.72
61Stephen CullenIRL1:57.90
73Hakan EskioğluTUR1:58.45
88Jeffrey OngMAS1:58.62

Heat Five

15Patrick DybionaNED1:52.67
21Stéfan VolérySUI1:52.94
32Rodrigo GonzálezMEX1:52.99
46Ignacio EscamillaMEX1:53.63
53Salvador VassalloPUR1:53.82
68Yves ClausseLUX1:54.90
74Xie JunCHN1:55.04
87Vaughan SmithZIM1:56.13

Heat Six

16Shigeo OgataJPN1:51.14q
28Michael GreenGBR1:53.03
=31Magnús ÓlafssonISL1:53.05
=33Daniel SerraESP1:53.05
54Júlio LópezBRA1:53.16
67Jan LarsenDEN1:53.61
72Jean-Marie ArnouldBEL1:53.73
85Zoltán SzilágyiHUN1:53.75

Heat Seven

15Anders HolmertzSWE1:49.28Q
23Stéphan CaronFRA1:49.66q
34Giorgio LambertiITA1:50.47q
42Aleksey KuznetsovURS1:50.84q
57Mariusz PodkościelnyPOL1:50.95q
66Tom StachewiczAUS1:51.02q
71Paul HoweGBR1:51.22
88Alberto BottiniSUI1:51.45

Heat Eight

13Artur WojdatPOL1:48.02Q
24Matt BiondiUSA1:48.39Q
35Thomas FahrnerFRG1:49.02Q
46Steffen ZesnerGDR1:49.13Q
58Franz MortensenDEN1:51.15
61Carlos ScanavinoURU1:51.42
72Tom WernerSWE1:51.96
87Ludovic DépickèreFRA1:53.81

Heat Nine

14Michael GroßFRG1:48.55Q
27Duncan ArmstrongAUS1:48.86Q
35Troy DalbeyUSA1:48.96Q
43Roberto GleriaITA1:49.51q
56Thomas FlemmingGDR1:49.52q
62Iurie BaşcatovURS1:52.04
78Cristiano MichelenaBRA1:52.34
81Norbert ÁghHUN1:54.72

B Final (19 September 1988 — 12:00)

14Roberto GleriaITA1:49.28
25Thomas FlemmingGDR1:50.18
32Tom StachewiczAUS1:50.83
43Aleksey KuznetsovURS1:51.03
51Franz MortensenDEN1:51.44
66Mariusz PodkościelnyPOL1:51.63
77Shigeo OgataJPN1:51.89
88Paul HoweGBR1:51.99

Final (19 September 1988 — 12:00)

16Duncan ArmstrongAUS1:47.25WR
28Anders HolmertzSWE1:47.89
35Matt BiondiUSA1:47.99
44Artur WojdatPOL1:48.40
53Michael GroßFRG1:48.59
61Steffen ZesnerGDR1:48.77
72Troy DalbeyUSA1:48.86
87Thomas FahrnerFRG1:49.19