The United States beat the German Democratic Republic (GDR) by 176 points to 168 at a two-day swimming match which ended in East Berlin on Sunday (28 August).
The United States beat the German Democratic Republic (GDR) by 176 points to 168 at a two-day swimming match which ended in East Berlin on Sunday (28 August). In the diving, the score was 25 points to 19 in favour of the East Germans. The meeting, only the third between the two countries, produced plenty of excitement and sunrises. In the men's 100 metres butterfly, two of strongest swimmers in the contest clashed -- Joseph Bottom of the United States and roger Pyttel of the German Democratic Republic.
Alice Browne's time was 8 minutes 36.62 seconds, beating by almost a second the US record set up Shirley Babashoff in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and about one-and-a-half seconds outside Thumer's world record which she established at Leipzig earlier this year.
SYNOPSIS: Bottom, in lane three, gets a flyer from team mate Greg Jagenburg in lane five. European record holder Pyttel swimming between them was left with quite a lot to do. The lanky Bottom, aged 22, swimming in one of his favourite events, had slightly increased his lead by the half-way turn. Pyttell was trying hard as he turned almost with Jagenburg. The GDR's Ralf Plaeschke was finding nothing in reserve at this stage. Although Jagenburg showed his mastery on the rapid turn, Bottom was able to pull ahead again-surging forward, with Pyttell moving into second place. (PAUSE FOR 5 SECONDS) The American won in a world record-breaking 54-point-18 seconds, shaving point-nine of a second from the record held by fellow-countryman Mark Spitz since the '72 Olympics.
The women's 800 metres freestyle, with world record holder Petra Thumer, produced one of the biggest surprises. Young Alice Browne of the United States in lane five, was the one to watch. At this stage she was well adrift of the leading pair, GDR's Thumer and Jennifer Hooker of the United States. Sixteen-year-old Hooker from California gained steadily on the world champion turning first. It's hard to separate the other two swimmers Alice Browne and maria Altmann of the GDR.
From then on, Browne, who was only 15 this month made, steady progress until on the last leg she had a commanding lead over the rest of the field. Even Thumer, the world record holder, could only manage a poor second at the finish almost six seconds behind.