| Event type

400 metres Individual Medley, Men

Date20 – 21 September 1988
LocationSu-yeong-jang, Ol-lim-pik Gong-won, Seoul
Participants34 from 24 countries
Olympic Record 4:17.41 WR / Alex Baumann CAN / 30 July 1984

Hungarian Tamás Darnyi was the favorite, having been the best in the world in the IMs since 1985. His biggest competition was expected to come from American Dave Wharton, who had broken the world record in August 1987, only to have Darnyi better that five days later at the European Championships. They were an interesting pair. Darnyi was legally blind in his left eye after an injury to it in a snowball fight as a teenager, while Wharton was born almost completely deaf.

In the final Wharton had a slight lead on the opening butterfly leg, but Darnyi then crushed the backstroke, outswimming Wharton by 3.38 seconds and opening up a 2½ second lead. Wharton could never recover, although he would hang on to win the silver medal. Darnyi maintained his lead, finishing in 4:14.75 for a world record, over 2½ seconds ahead of Wharton. The bronze went to Italy’s Stefano Battistelli.

A few days later, Darnyi and Wharton were expected to meet again in the 200 IM, but Wharton swam poorly in prelims and did not qualify. Darnyi also won that gold medal, doubling in the IM, which he would repeat at Barcelona in 1992.

PosSwimmerNOCR1B FinalFinal
1Tamás DarnyiHUN4:16.55 (1 h5)4:14.75 (1)Gold
2Dave WhartonUSA4:20.84 (1 h4)4:17.36 (2)Silver
3Stefano BattistelliITA4:20.43 (2 h5)4:18.01 (3)Bronze
4József SzabóHUN4:20.85 (2 h4)4:18.15 (4)
5Patrick KühlGDR4:18.60 (1 h3)4:18.44 (5)
6Jens-Peter BerndtFRG4:20.93 (3 h4)4:21.71 (6)
7Luca SacchiITA4:23.37 (4 h5)4:23.23 (7)
8Peter BermelFRG4:22.78 (3 h5)4:24.02 (8)
9Jeff KostoffUSA4:24.10 (3 h3)4:22.95 (1)
10Christophe BordeauFRA4:23.46 (2 h3)4:23.39 (2)
11Robert BruceAUS4:25.15 (4 h3)4:24.33 (3)
12Jon KellyCAN4:24.62 (5 h5)4:25.02 (4)
13Mikhail ZubkovURS4:25.30 (5 h3)4:25.44 (5)
14Rob WoodhouseAUS4:25.60 (6 h5)4:26.14 (6)
15Paul BrewGBR4:27.22 (4 h4)4:26.77 (7)
16Kharalambos PapanikolaouGRE4:26.72 (7 h5)4:27.95 (8)
17Yoshiyuki MizumotoJPN4:28.11 (5 h4)
18Laurent JournetFRA4:29.03 (6 h3)
19Ondřej BurešTCH4:29.62 (1 h2)
20Salvador VassalloPUR4:30.37 (7 h3)
21Javier CareagaMEX4:30.71 (2 h2)
22Rui BorgesPOR4:30.79 (3 h2)
23Mike MeldrumCAN4:31.74 (8 h5)
24Renato RamalhoBRA4:31.95 (4 h2)
25Takahiro FujimotoJPN4:33.03 (8 h3)
26Diogo MadeiraPOR4:35.00 (5 h2)
27Martín López-ZuberoESP4:35.68 (6 h4)
28Lee Jae-SuKOR4:40.46 (6 h2)
29Jonathan SakovichGUM4:44.78 (1 h1)
30René ConcepcionPHI4:48.00 (7 h2)
31Sultan Al-OtaibiKUW4:50.16 (2 h1)
32Julian BollingSRI4:53.61 (3 h1)
ACJohn DaveyGBR– (AC h4)DQ
ACDesmond KohSGP– (AC h2)DQ
DNSJan BidrmanSWE– (DNS h4)

Round One (20 September 1988 — 9:00)

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

Heat One

15Jonathan SakovichGUM4:44.78
23Sultan Al-OtaibiKUW4:50.16
34Julian BollingSRI4:53.61

Heat Two

12Ondřej BurešTCH4:29.62
26Javier CareagaMEX4:30.71
35Rui BorgesPOR4:30.79
44Renato RamalhoBRA4:31.95
53Diogo MadeiraPOR4:35.00
68Lee Jae-SuKOR4:40.46
77René ConcepcionPHI4:48.00
AC1Desmond KohSGPDQ

Heat Three

14Patrick KühlGDR4:18.60Q
26Christophe BordeauFRA4:23.46q
35Jeff KostoffUSA4:24.10q
43Robert BruceAUS4:25.15q
52Mikhail ZubkovURS4:25.30q
67Laurent JournetFRA4:29.03
78Salvador VassalloPUR4:30.37
81Takahiro FujimotoJPN4:33.03

Heat Four

14Dave WhartonUSA4:20.84Q
25József SzabóHUN4:20.85Q
33Jens-Peter BerndtFRG4:20.93Q
47Paul BrewGBR4:27.22q
51Yoshiyuki MizumotoJPN4:28.11
68Martín López-ZuberoESP4:35.68
AC2John DaveyGBRDQ
DNS6Jan BidrmanSWE

Heat Five

14Tamás DarnyiHUN4:16.55QOR
23Stefano BattistelliITA4:20.43Q
37Peter BermelFRG4:22.78Q
46Luca SacchiITA4:23.37Q
51Jon KellyCAN4:24.62q
65Rob WoodhouseAUS4:25.60q
78Kharalambos PapanikolaouGRE4:26.72q
82Mike MeldrumCAN4:31.74

B Final (21 September 1988 — 12:00)

15Jeff KostoffUSA4:22.95
24Christophe BordeauFRA4:23.39
36Robert BruceAUS4:24.33
43Jon KellyCAN4:25.02
52Mikhail ZubkovURS4:25.44
67Rob WoodhouseAUS4:26.14
78Paul BrewGBR4:26.77
81Kharalambos PapanikolaouGRE4:27.95

Final (21 September 1988 — 12:00)

14Tamás DarnyiHUN4:14.75WR
26Dave WhartonUSA4:17.36
33Stefano BattistelliITA4:18.01
42József SzabóHUN4:18.15
55Patrick KühlGDR4:18.44
67Jens-Peter BerndtFRG4:21.71
78Luca SacchiITA4:23.23
81Peter BermelFRG4:24.02