| Event type

4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men

Date20 – 21 September 1988
LocationSu-yeong-jang, Ol-lim-pik Gong-won, Seoul
Participants75 from 16 countries

In an unusual situation for an Olympic relay, this was considered wide-open and the United States was not favored. West Germany held the world record of 7:13.10, set in 1987 in Strasbourg, France. At the 1986 World Championships, East Germany had won with West Germany and the USA only third. In the heats the GDR team qualified first, and that was with the USA only resting two swimmers for the final. East Germany looked formidable when Uwe Daßler took a 1.11 second lead over Troy Dalbey on the opening leg, although Sweden’s Anders Holmertz had the lead at 1:48.06. Italy then took the lead after two legs, with Giorgio Lamberti splitting 1:47.29, but they would soon drop back. At this point the US was only fifth, also trailing East Germany, Sweden, and West Germany, although the gap to East Germany had closed. After three legs East Germany moved into the lead, with the American team about one body length in arrears. Then Matt Biondi took over. His start on the exchange made up almost half the lead and at the 700 metre mark he was in front. He never let up, swimming the fastest split in history with 1:46.44 as the USA came home in 7:12.51 for gold and the world record. East Germany was over a second behind for silver with West Germany getting bronze.

1United StatesUSA7:18.76 (2 h1)7:12.51 (1)Gold
Troy DalbeyMatt CetlinskiDoug GjertsenMatt BiondiCraig OppelDan Jorgensen
2East GermanyGDR7:16.61 (1 h1)7:13.68 (2)Silver
Uwe DaßlerSven LodziewskiThomas FlemmingSteffen ZesnerLars Hinneburg
3West GermanyFRG7:19.38 (1 h2)7:14.35 (3)Bronze
Erik HochsteinThomas FahrnerRainer HenkelMichael GroßPeter SittStefan Pfeiffer
4AustraliaAUS7:21.46 (3 h1)7:15.23 (4)
Tom StachewiczIan BrownJason PlummerDuncan ArmstrongMartin Roberts
5ItalyITA7:21.85 (4 h1)7:16.00 (5)
Roberto GleriaGiorgio LambertiMassimo TrevisanValerio GiambalvoFabrizio Rampazzo
6SwedenSWE7:23.82 (3 h2)7:19.10 (6)
Anders HolmertzTom WernerMichael SöderlundChrister WallinHenrik Jangvall
7FranceFRA7:23.03 (2 h2)7:24.69 (7)
Michel PouFranck IaconoOlivier FougeroudLudovic DépickèreStéphan CaronLaurent Neuville
8CanadaCAN7:26.28 (4 h2)7:24.91 (8)
Turlough O'HareSandy GossDon HaddowGary VandermeulenDarren Ward
9Great BritainGBR7:29.77 (5 h1)
Kevin BoydPaul HoweJonathan BroughtonRoland Lee
10BrazilBRA7:32.11 (5 h2)
Cristiano MichelenaJorge FernandesEmanuel FortesJúlio López
11DenmarkDEN7:33.31 (6 h1)
Franz MortensenClaus ChristensenJan LarsenPeter Rohde
12Republic of KoreaKOR7:52.93 (7 h1)
Gwon Sang-WonYang GamSong Gwang-SeonGwon Sun-Geun
13United States Virgin IslandsISV8:15.51 (8 h1)
Hans FoersterKraig SingletonRonald PickardWilliam Cleveland
14United Arab EmiratesUAE9:01.03 (6 h2)
Ahmad FarajMohammed AlghafriBassam Al-AnsariMohamed Bin Abid
ACMexicoMEX– (AC h2)DQ
Ignacio EscamillaJorge AlarcónCarlos RomoRodrigo González
ACSoviet UnionURS– (AC h2)DQ
Sergey KudryayevAleksandr BazhanovNikolay YevseyevAleksey Kuznetsov

Round One (20 September 1988 — 9:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
15East GermanyGDR7:16.61Q
Uwe Daßler1:49.471:49.47 (1)
Lars Hinneburg1:49.643:39.11 (1)
Sven Lodziewski1:48.875:27.98 (1)
Thomas Flemming1:48.637:16.61 (1)
24United StatesUSA7:18.76Q
Craig Oppel1:51.241:51.24 (4)
Dan Jorgensen1:49.243:40.48 (3)
Matt Cetlinski1:48.875:29.35 (2)
Doug Gjertsen1:49.417:18.76 (2)
Jason Plummer1:51.441:51.44 (5)
Ian Brown1:48.893:40.33 (2)
Martin Roberts1:51.315:31.64 (3)
Tom Stachewicz1:49.827:21.46 (3)
Massimo Trevisan1:50.951:50.95 (2)
Fabrizio Rampazzo1:51.473:42.42 (4)
Valerio Giambalvo1:50.975:33.39 (4)
Roberto Gleria1:48.467:21.85 (4)
52Great BritainGBR7:29.77
Kevin Boyd1:52.001:52.00 (6)
Paul Howe1:51.583:43.58 (6)
Jonathan Broughton1:52.815:36.39 (6)
Roland Lee1:53.387:29.77 (5)
Franz Mortensen1:51.211:51.21 (3)
Claus Christensen1:52.083:43.29 (5)
Jan Larsen1:52.615:35.90 (5)
Peter Rohde1:57.417:33.31 (6)
78Republic of KoreaKOR7:52.93
Gwon Sang-Won1:57.081:57.08 (7)
Yang Gam1:57.293:54.37 (7)
Song Gwang-Seon1:59.115:53.48 (7)
Gwon Sun-Geun1:59.457:52.93 (7)
81United States Virgin IslandsISV8:15.51
Hans Foerster2:01.342:01.34 (8)
Kraig Singleton2:05.634:06.97 (8)
Ronald Pickard2:07.666:14.63 (8)
William Cleveland2:00.888:15.51 (8)

Heat Two

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
14West GermanyFRG7:19.38Q
Peter Sitt1:50.311:50.31 (2)
Rainer Henkel1:49.633:39.94 (1)
Stefan Pfeiffer1:50.065:30.00 (1)
Erik Hochstein1:49.387:19.38 (1)
Stéphan Caron1:49.411:49.41 (1)
Michel Pou1:51.013:40.42 (2)
Olivier Fougeroud1:51.625:32.04 (2)
Laurent Neuville1:50.997:23.03 (2)
Tom Werner1:50.461:50.46 (3)
Christer Wallin1:50.383:40.84 (3)
Henrik Jangvall1:52.335:33.17 (3)
Michael Söderlund1:50.657:23.82 (3)
Turlough O'Hare1:51.591:51.59 (5)
Darren Ward1:52.273:43.86 (4)
Don Haddow1:51.115:34.97 (4)
Gary Vandermeulen1:51.317:26.28 (4)
Cristiano Michelena1:51.381:51.38 (4)
Jorge Fernandes1:53.343:44.72 (5)
Emanuel Fortes1:54.265:38.98 (5)
Júlio López1:53.137:32.11 (5)
68United Arab EmiratesUAE9:01.03
Ahmad Faraj2:15.642:15.64 (6)
Mohammed Alghafri2:17.644:33.28 (6)
Bassam Al-Ansari2:15.416:48.69 (6)
Mohamed Bin Abid2:12.349:01.03 (6)
Ignacio Escamilla– (AC)
Jorge Alarcón– (AC)
Carlos Romo– (AC)
Rodrigo González– (AC)
AC5Soviet UnionURSDQ
Sergey Kudryayev– (AC)
Aleksandr Bazhanov– (AC)
Nikolay Yevseyev– (AC)
Aleksey Kuznetsov– (AC)

Final (21 September 1988 — 12:00)

PosLaneSwimmerNOC50 m100 m150 mTimeExchange (Pos)
15United StatesUSA7:12.51WR
Troy Dalbey1:49.371:49.37 (5)
Matt Cetlinski1:48.443:37.81 (5)
Doug Gjertsen1:48.265:26.07 (2)
Matt Biondi1:46.447:12.51 (1)
24East GermanyGDR7:13.68
Uwe Daßler1:48.261:48.26 (2)
Sven Lodziewski1:48.923:37.18 (2)
Thomas Flemming1:48.075:25.25 (1)
Steffen Zesner1:48.437:13.68 (2)
33West GermanyFRG7:14.35
Erik Hochstein1:49.911:49.91 (6)
Thomas Fahrner1:47.753:37.66 (4)
Rainer Henkel1:49.425:27.08 (4)
Michael Groß1:47.277:14.35 (3)
Tom Stachewicz1:48.991:48.99 (3)
Ian Brown1:49.053:38.04 (6)
Jason Plummer1:49.955:27.99 (5)
Duncan Armstrong1:47.247:15.23 (4)
Roberto Gleria1:49.231:49.23 (4)
Giorgio Lamberti1:47.293:36.52 (1)
Massimo Trevisan1:49.665:26.18 (3)
Valerio Giambalvo1:49.827:16.00 (5)
Anders Holmertz1:48.061:48.06 (1)
Tom Werner1:49.413:37.47 (3)
Michael Söderlund1:50.575:28.04 (6)
Christer Wallin1:51.067:19.10 (6)
Michel Pou1:52.051:52.05 (8)
Franck Iacono1:50.043:42.09 (7)
Olivier Fougeroud1:52.145:34.23 (8)
Ludovic Dépickère1:50.467:24.69 (7)
Turlough O'Hare1:51.451:51.45 (7)
Sandy Goss1:51.013:42.46 (8)
Don Haddow1:51.465:33.92 (7)
Gary Vandermeulen1:50.997:24.91 (8)