| Event type

200 metres Backstroke, Men

Date22 September 1988
LocationSu-yeong-jang, Ol-lim-pik Gong-won, Seoul
Participants44 from 32 countries
Olympic Record 1:58.99 / Rick Carey USA / 31 July 1984

Igor Polyansky (URS) came into Seoul as the heavy favorite in this event, having lost only one race since 1985, that at the 1987 European Championships to his teammate, Sergey Zabolotnov. They had set the last two world records, with Zabolotnov setting his at the 1984 Friendship Games in Moscow, just after the Los Angeles Olympics, but Polyansky broke that record in 1985 with 1:58.14. In the Seoul final, Zabolotnov led at 100 metres, but Polyansky took the lead on the third lap. He held on for the gold medal and East German Frank Baltrusch finished quickly for silver, as Zabolotnov fell off the medal stand and placed fourth.

The bronze medal went to New Zealander Paul Kingsman, whose best previous international finish had been a third at the 1987 Pan Pacs. The awards ceremony would not go so well for him or for Polyansky. First, Kingsman was introduced as from the Soviet Union. Then Polyansky had to stand there as they corrected that, but they overdid it, and announced the playing of the New Zealand national anthem. Fortunately that was corrected and the Soviet anthem was actually played.

PosSwimmerNOCR1B FinalFinal
1Igor PolyanskyURS2:01.70 (2 h6)1:59.37 (1)Gold
2Frank BaltruschGDR2:01.49 (1 h5)1:59.60 (2)Silver
3Paul KingsmanNZL2:02.20 (4 h6)2:00.48 (3)Bronze
4Sergey ZabolotnovURS2:01.27 (1 h6)2:00.52 (4)
5Dirk RichterGDR2:01.54 (1 h4)2:01.67 (5)
6Jens-Peter BerndtFRG2:01.77 (3 h6)2:01.84 (6)
7Dan VeatchUSA2:01.73 (2 h4)2:02.26 (7)
8Rogério RomeroBRA2:02.26 (2 h5)2:02.28 (8)
9Frank HoffmeisterFRG2:03.34 (4 h4)2:01.65 (1)
10Steve BigelowUSA2:03.64 (5 h4)2:02.95 (2)
11Martín López-ZuberoESP2:03.33 (3 h5)2:03.70 (3)
12Mark TewksburyCAN2:04.02 (6 h5)2:03.79 (4)
13Georgi MikhalevBUL2:02.71 (3 h4)2:04.24 (5)
14Tamás DeutschHUN2:03.17 (5 h6)2:04.42 (6)
15Daichi SuzukiJPN2:03.36 (4 h5)2:04.67 (7)
16Gary BinfieldGBR2:03.79 (1 h3)2:04.90 (8)
17Stefano BattistelliITA2:03.63 (5 h5)1
18Sean MurphyCAN2:03.81 (6 h4)
19Alejandro AlvizuriPER2:04.29 (2 h3)
20John DaveyGBR2:04.70 (3 h3)
21David HolderbachFRA2:04.83 (6 h6)
=22Simon UptonAUS2:05.08 (7 h6)
=22Ernesto VelaMEX2:05.08 (4 h3)
24Eðvarð Þór EðvarðssonISL2:05.61 (7 h5)
25Richard GheelIRL2:05.71 (5 h3)
26Lars SørensenDEN2:05.73 (8 h6)
27Stephen CullenIRL2:06.98 (1 h2)
28Pavel VokounTCH2:07.24 (7 h4)
29Patrick FerlandSUI2:07.77 (2 h2)
30Lin LaijiuCHN2:08.28 (6 h3)
31David LimSGP2:08.65 (3 h2)
32Shigemori MaruyamaJPN2:09.16 (7 h3)
33Vladimir RibeiroBRA2:11.48 (4 h2)
34Horst NiehausCRC2:12.83 (5 h2)
35Eric GreenwoodCRC2:15.42 (6 h2)
36Patrick SagisiGUM2:15.82 (7 h2)
37Brett HalfordZIM2:17.84 (1 h1)
38Pablo BarahonaHON2:21.61 (2 h1)
39Mohammed AlghafriUAE2:29.64 (3 h1)
40Mohamed Bin AbidUAE2:36.21 (4 h1)
41Rami KantariLBN2:40.29 (5 h1)
ACKharalambos PapanikolaouGRE– (AC h3)DQ
ACTamás DarnyiHUN– (AC h5)DQ
ACPark Dong-PilKOR– (AC h2)DQ

Round One (22 September 1988 — 10:00)

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

Heat One

14Brett HalfordZIM2:17.84
23Pablo BarahonaHON2:21.61
32Mohammed AlghafriUAE2:29.64
46Mohamed Bin AbidUAE2:36.21
55Rami KantariLBN2:40.29

Heat Two

16Stephen CullenIRL2:06.98
25Patrick FerlandSUI2:07.77
37David LimSGP2:08.65
44Vladimir RibeiroBRA2:11.48
58Horst NiehausCRC2:12.83
62Eric GreenwoodCRC2:15.42
71Patrick SagisiGUM2:15.82
AC3Park Dong-PilKORDQ

Heat Three

16Gary BinfieldGBR2:03.79q
23Alejandro AlvizuriPER2:04.29
38John DaveyGBR2:04.70
45Ernesto VelaMEX2:05.08
51Richard GheelIRL2:05.71
62Lin LaijiuCHN2:08.28
77Shigemori MaruyamaJPN2:09.16
AC4Kharalambos PapanikolaouGREDQ

Heat Four

12Dirk RichterGDR2:01.54Q
23Dan VeatchUSA2:01.73Q
37Georgi MikhalevBUL2:02.71q
44Frank HoffmeisterFRG2:03.34q
56Steve BigelowUSA2:03.64q
65Sean MurphyCAN2:03.81
78Pavel VokounTCH2:07.24

Heat Five

14Frank BaltruschGDR2:01.49Q
21Rogério RomeroBRA2:02.26Q
38Martín López-ZuberoESP2:03.33q
47Daichi SuzukiJPN2:03.36q
55Stefano BattistelliITA2:03.63q
63Mark TewksburyCAN2:04.02
72Eðvarð Þór EðvarðssonISL2:05.61
AC6Tamás DarnyiHUNDQ

Heat Six

15Sergey ZabolotnovURS2:01.27Q
24Igor PolyanskyURS2:01.70Q
33Jens-Peter BerndtFRG2:01.77Q
47Paul KingsmanNZL2:02.20Q
56Tamás DeutschHUN2:03.17q
61David HolderbachFRA2:04.83
72Simon UptonAUS2:05.08
88Lars SørensenDEN2:05.73

B Final (22 September 1988 — 20:00)

16Frank HoffmeisterFRG2:01.65
27Steve BigelowUSA2:02.95
33Martín López-ZuberoESP2:03.70
48Mark TewksburyCAN2:03.79
54Georgi MikhalevBUL2:04.24
65Tamás DeutschHUN2:04.42
72Daichi SuzukiJPN2:04.67
81Gary BinfieldGBR2:04.90

Final (22 September 1988 — 20:00)

16Igor PolyanskyURS1:59.37
25Frank BaltruschGDR1:59.60
31Paul KingsmanNZL2:00.48
44Sergey ZabolotnovURS2:00.52
53Dirk RichterGDR2:01.67
67Jens-Peter BerndtFRG2:01.84
72Dan VeatchUSA2:02.26
88Rogério RomeroBRA2:02.28