1988  Seoul Summer Olympics

1988 Summer Olympics - Highlights of the Games

1988 Highlights of the Games



  • In its final Olympics, the Soviet Union utterly dominated the medal table winning 55 gold and 132 total medals. No country came close to this result after 1988.
  • Soviet Vladimir Artemov won four gold medals in gymnastics. Daniela Silivaş of Romania won three and equalled compatriot Nadia Comăneci's record of seven Perfect 10s in one Olympic Games.
  • After having demolished the world record in the 100 m dash at the Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, U.S. sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner set an Olympic record (10.62) in the 100-metre dash and a still-standing world record (21.34) in the 200-metre dash to capture gold medals in both events. To these medals, she added a gold in the 4×100 relay and a silver in the 4×400.
  • Canadian Ben Johnson won the 100 m final with a new world record, but was disqualified after he tested positive for stanozolol. Johnson has since claimed that his positive test was the result of sabotage.
  • In the Women's Artistic Gymnastics Team All-Around Competition, the U.S. women's team was penalized with a deduction of five tenths of a point from their team score by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) after the compulsory round due to their Olympic team alternate Rhonda Faehn appearing on the podium for the uneven bars during the duration of Kelly Garrison-Steve's compulsory uneven bars routine, despite not competing, having been caught by the East German judge, Ellen Berger. The U.S. finished fourth after the completion of the optional rounds with a combined score of 390.575, three tenths of a point behind East Germany. This still remains controversial in the sport of gymnastics, as the U.S. performed better than the East German team and they would have taken the bronze medal in the team competition had they not been penalized or had an inquiry accepted to receive the points back.
  • Phoebe Mills won an individual bronze medal on the balance beam, shared with Romania's Gabriela Potorac, making history as the first medal (team or individual) ever won by a U.S. woman in artistic gymnastics at a fully attended games.
  • The USSR (Soviet Union) won their final team gold medals in artistic gymnastics on both the men's and women's sides with scores of 593.350 and 395.475 respectively. The men's team was led by Vladimir Artemov, while Elena Shushunova lead the women's team.
  • Lawrence Lemieux, a Canadian sailor in the Finn class, was in second place and poised to win a silver medal when he abandoned the race to save an injured competitor. He arrived in 21st place, but was recognized by the IOC with the Pierre de Coubertin medal honoring his bravery and sacrifice.
  • U.S. diver Greg Louganis won back-to-back titles on both diving events despite hitting his head on the springboard in the third round and suffering a concussion.
  • Christa Luding-Rothenburger of East Germany became the first (and only) athlete to win Olympic medals at the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics in the same year. She added a cycling silver to the speed skating gold she won earlier in the Winter Olympics of that year in Calgary.
  • Anthony Nesty of Suriname won his country's first Olympic medal by winning the 100 m butterfly, scoring an upset victory over Matt Biondi by .01 of a second (thwarting Biondi's attempt of breaking Mark Spitz' record seven golds in one Olympic event); he was the first black person to win an individual swimming gold.
  • Swimmer Kristin Otto of East Germany won six gold medals. Other multi-medalists in the pool were Matt Biondi (five) and Janet Evans (three).
  • Swedish fencer Kerstin Palm became the first woman to take part in seven Olympics.]
  • Swimmer Mel Stewart of the U.S. was the most anticipated to win the men's 200 m butterfly final[citation needed] but surprisingly, came in 5th.
  • Mark Todd of New Zealand won his second consecutive individual gold medal in the three-day event in equestrian on Charisma, only the second time in eventing history that a gold medal has been won consecutively.
  • Baseball and Taekwondo were demonstration sports. The opening ceremony featured a mass demonstration of taekwondo with hundreds of adults and children performing moves in unison.
  • This was the last time the U.S. was represented by a basketball team that did not feature NBA players (featuring college players); the team won the bronze medal after being defeated by the Soviet Union (that was represented by veteran professionals) which went on to win the gold medal.
  • For the first time in history, all the dressage events were won by women.
  • Women's judo was held for the first time, as a demonstration sport.
  • Bowling was held as a demonstration sport, with Kwon Jong Yul of South Korea and Arianne Cerdeña from the Philippines winning the men's and women's gold medals, respectively.
  • Table tennis was introduced at the Olympics, with China and South Korea both winning two titles.
  • Tennis returned to the Olympics after a 64-year absence, and Steffi Graf added to her four Grand Slam victories in the year by also winning the Olympic title, beating Sabatini in the final.
  • Two Bulgarian weightlifters were stripped of their gold medals after failing doping tests, and the team withdrew after this event.
  • In boxing, Roy Jones Jr. of the U.S. dominated his opponents, never losing a single round en route to the final. In the final, he controversially lost a 3–2 decision to South Korean fighter Park Si-Hun despite pummeling Park for three rounds and landing 86 punches to Park's 32.
  • Another boxing controversy involved a match between South Korea's Jong-il Byun and Bulgaria's Alexander Hristov. A random spectator ran around "winding up" the crowd before the match and New Zealander referee Keith Walker repeated warned Jong-Il regarding headbutting. When the decision went against Jong-il, a sub-set of spectators stormed the ring and attacked Walker, with South Korean Olympic officials and security guards also kicking him before his fellow referees pulled him away.
  • In yet another boxing controversy, Riddick Bowe of the US lost a controversial match in the finals to future world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis. Bowe had a dominant first round, landing 33 of 94 punches thrown (34%) while Lewis landed 14 of 67 (21%). In the first round the referee from East Germany gave Bowe two cautions for headbutts and deducted a point for a third headbutt, although replay clearly showed there was no headbutt. Commentator Ferdie Pacheco disagreed with the deduction, saying they did not hit heads. In the second round, Lewis landed several hard punches. The referee gave Bowe two standing eight counts and waved the fight off after the second one, even though Bowe seemed able to continue. Pacheco disagreed with the stoppage, calling it "very strange."
  • Soviet weightlifter Yury Zakharevich won the men's heavyweight (up to 110 kg class) with a 210 kg snatch and 245 kg clean and jerk for a 455 kg total. Zakhareivich had dislocated his elbow in 1983 attempting a world record and had it rebuilt with synthetic tendons.
  • Indonesia gained its first medal in Olympic history when the women's team won a silver medal in archery.

Live doves were released during the opening ceremony as a symbol of world peace, but a number of the doves were burned alive or suffered major trauma by the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. As a result of protests following the incident, the last time live doves were released at the opening ceremony was in 1992 in Barcelona, hours before the flame was lit. Balloon doves were released in 1994 at the Lillehammer Winter Games and paper doves were used at the Atlanta Ceremony in 1996.

These were also the last Summer Olympic Games to hold the Opening Ceremony during the daytime. The opening ceremony featured a skydiving team descending over the stadium and forming the five-colored Olympic Rings, as well as a mass demonstration of taekwondo. The skydiving team trained at SkyDance SkyDiving and had hoped the opening ceremony appearance would set the stage for skydiving becoming a medal event by 2000.


The clash of US and USSR teams in the men's tournament semi-final

At the Summer Olympics in 1988, a basketball tournament each of the men and women was held. The men's tournament was attended by twelve teams and eight by the ladies. Special attention was given to the first clashes between US and USSR teams at the Olympics after twelve years. For the men, this match took place in the semi-final, where the US defeated the USSR 76:82. Yugoslavia was the second team to qualify for the final. The gold medal went to the team of the Soviet Union, who won the final with 76:63 and thus repeated their success of 1972 in Munich . The team included Šarūnas Marčiulionis and Rimas Kurtinaitis, Silver won the team of Yugoslavia, bronze the US team, which defeated Australia in the match for third place 78:49.

In the women's duel of the superpowers in the semifinals went the other way around and the US prevailed with 102: 88 against the USSR. In the final, the US team won with 77:70 against the team from Yugoslavia and took gold. The center player Anne Donovan played a special role in this victory . Another team member was Teresa Edwards , who won one of their four Olympic gold medals. Bronze won the team of the USSR, which defeated Australia in the small final with 68:53. Despite the poor performance of the host teams - the men reached ninth place, the ladies ranked seventh - the basketball tournament enjoyed a high audience interest, which led to a capacity utilization of over 90%.


In Seoul, in addition to the individual competitions, team competitions in archery were held for the first time . In addition, the competitions were switched from the big FITA round to the double round. The competitions, which ran from September 27th to October 1st, were dominated by South Korea. In addition to Kim Soo-nyung , who scored 344 points in the final and a total of 2683 points ahead of her two teammates Wang Hee-kyung and Yun Young-sookGold won in singles, both team gold medals also went to South Korea. By winning the individual and team gold, the young Kim Soo-nyung became the first South Korean double Olympic champion in history and also achieved an Olympic record and world record in singles. In the final of the Men's Single Page of South Koreans was Park Sung-soo temporarily in the lead, but lost eventually the Americans Jay Barrs and thus won the silver medal ahead of Vladimir Jeschejew from the USSR.


In boxing titles were awarded in twelve weight classes and set up a new record attendance with a total of 412 boxers. The most successful nation was the USA, who won three gold medals in the bantam, light heavy and heavyweight categories. Two gold medals were awarded to South Korea and the German Democratic Republic, for which Andreas Zülow won in the lightweight and Henry mask in the middleweight division.

To South Korean boxers, there were two controversial incidents. In the second round bantamweight Byun Jong-il defeated the Bulgarian Aleksandar Christov , this threw the referee ingratitude. South Korean officials stormed the boxing ring and there was a tumult. Byun remained in the ring for 67 minutes, breaking the 1964 Tokyo protest record. Subsequently, five South Korean officials were banned for two years and South Korea was banned from hosting international boxing matches for one year. In light welterweight there was the fight between Chun Jin-chul and the Americans Todd Fosterto an incident when Chun looked at the bell of the neighboring ring as a signal for the end of the round and then went KO. This result was canceled and a new fight was set, but the South Korean lost as well.

There were a number of other scandals surrounding the judges' decisions. Thus, for example, the victory of the South Korean Park Si-hun in the light middleweight alone the judges decisions attributed. Already in the first round, the referee park would have had to disqualify because of constant braces. Also controversial is his 5-0 point victory in the second round against the East German Torsten Schmitz . In the final, Park unjustifiably won 3: 2 against American Roy Jones , although the analysis of the television shows revealed Jones had scored more goals than the South Koreans. Therefore, the awarding of the Val-Barker-Cup can be a kind of compensationfor the technically best boxer at Roy Jones, although actually Henry Maske was the technically outstanding boxer in Seoul. After the games, several judges were banned and six South Koreans were forbidden from further amateur boxing. As a result of the Seoul incidents was introduced to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, ​​a box computer, which should objectify the judges performance additionally. Nevertheless, due to the crusty bureaucratic structures, no drastic reforms were made.


European countries dominated the six men's and two women's competitions in fencing and made all the medals among themselves. The South Koreans, who had won four of the eight titles at the Seoul Asian Games, participated in all competitions but could not reach the final. The most successful nation in fencing was the Federal Republic of Germany. Overall, West German athletes won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Outstanding was the triple victory of Anja Fichtel , Sabine Bau and Zita Funkenhauser in the foil individual. All three also won the gold medal with the team. Arnd Schmitt won the swordCompetition of men. The second most successful nation was France with two gold and one silver medal ahead of the USSR with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals. In the individual Florett Udo Wagner from the GDR won silver and thus the only fencing medal for the GDR in the Olympic Games ever.


16 teams took part in the Olympic football tournament, of which 15 had to qualify, while South Korea was the host country. The qualification involved 115 teams. The games of the tournament were held in Seoul , Busan , Taegu , Kwangju and Taejon . As group winners, Sweden, Zambia, the USSR and Brazil entered the knockout stages. In addition came the second runners FRG, Italy, Argentina and Australia. In the semifinals sat the USSR, who defeated Italy 2-1, and the Brazilian team, the German Olympic team, including Jürgen Klinsmann , Thomas Häßlerand Oliver Reck , who beat on penalties. They denied the final, which ended with a 2-1 win for the USSR. In the match for bronze won the West German team 3-0. The German team also received the Fair Play Trophy as the fairest team in the tournament.


The weightlifting competitions were held in ten weight classes. The dominant nation was the USSR, which won gold medals in six of the ten weight categories. It was followed by Bulgaria with two gold and the GDR and Turkey, each with a gold medal. On the second day of the competition, the first doping case was uncovered and the Bulgarian Mitko Grablew Gold was revoked in the class up to 56 kilograms. This was followed by four more cases of doping, with another Bulgarian being denied gold and one Hungarian silver. Only as a result of the disqualification of the winner in the class up to 67.5 kilograms of GDR weightlifter Joachim Kunz received the gold medal. Featherweight won the Turk Naim Süleymanoğluthe gold medal. This title he could defend both at the Barcelona games in 1992 and at the 1996 Atlanta games . In total, new world records were set in Seoul in three weight classes.


Women's game of the USA against South Korea

In Seoul found a men's and a women's tournament in handballinstead of. There were twelve men and eight women's teams. Handball was not one of the most popular sports in South Korea, but the popularity and enthusiasm of the crowd increased with the good results of the home teams. The two teams from Yugoslavia, who both won gold medals in Los Angeles in 1984, could not repeat their successes. The men's team defeated Hungary 27-23 in the small final and won bronze. In the final, the USSR and South Korea split 32:25. In the women's team, the teams from Yugoslavia, the USSR, Norway and South Korea played out the first four places against each other. Yugoslavia was defeated by the USSR and Norway and thus missed the medals as a fourth-placed team. The gold medal went to the South Korean team,who had won silver four years earlier. Silver won the team from Norway, bronze went to the Soviet Union.


Twelve men's and eight women's teams participated in the Olympic hockey tournaments. The gold medal in the women's tournament won the team from Australia, which included Rechelle Hawkes , who could win three times in four gold medals three times. The Australians defeated the team of the host country 2-0 in the final, with both goals in the second half fell. In the match for third place, the Dutch won the bronze medal with a 3-1 win over Great Britain. In the men's tournament bronze went to the team from the Netherlands, who beat Australia 2-1. In the final, the teams of the Federal Republic of Germany and Great Britain met each other. The British team won the game 3-1 and thus the gold medal.


The competitions in judo included seven weight classes, each of which was held on one day each. The most successful nation was South Korea with two gold and one bronze medal ahead of Poland with a gold and silver medal and Japan with one gold and three bronze medals. In the middleweight division, Austrian Peter Seisenbacher won the gold medal and was able to defend his title from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles . He was the first judoka to succeed. Only two days later it also managed the Japanese Hitoshi Saito , who in the final Henry Stöhrfrom the German Democratic Republic defeated. Japanese athletes had previously reached three bronze medals, but only on the last day of the judo competitions Saitō could reach a final for Japan.


In canoe racing , nine competitions were held for men and three for women. The European nations dominated the competitions. Only the GDR and the USSR won half of all possible titles, each with three gold medals. Third place went to Hungary. Birgit Fischer , who competed in 1988 under the name Schmidt, won three medals. In the kayak one, she was second behind the Bulgarian Wanja Geschewa , in the kayak two and kayak four she won the gold medal with her teammates. The American Gregory Barton won the kayak-one over 1000 meters the first gold medal in canoeing for the US, in kayak over 1000 meters he could do this together with his partnerRepeat Norman Bellingham .


The competitions in athletics took place on nine days. There were 1148 men and 579 women from 148 countries, which meant the highest number of participants in the history of the Olympics. The most successful nation was the USA with 13 gold, seven silver and six bronze medals. She was followed by the USSR with ten gold, six silver and ten bronze medals and the GDR with six gold, eleven silver and ten bronze medals. Another 20 countries won medals.

In the final over 100 meters of men, it came to a duel between Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson , which Johnson could decide with a world record of 9.79 seconds. After being convicted of doping, he was deprived of the gold medal and awarded to Lewis. The outstanding athlete was Florence Griffith-Joyner with gold in the 4 x 100 meter relay, over 100 and 200 meters. In the 200-meter race, she also set a new world record. The dominant nation in the endurance race was Kenya: gold over 800 meters went to Paul Ereng , over 1500 meters Peter Rono won , over 3000 meters obstacle won Julius Kariuki and won the 5000-meter raceJohn Ngugi . In the marathon, there was a sprint decision, which won the Italian Gelindo Bordin with 2:10:32 hours for themselves. He was only 15 seconds ahead of the runner-up and 27 seconds ahead of the bronze medalist.

For the GDR Ulf Timmermann won gold in the shot put with the Olympic record of 22.47 meters, as well as Jürgen Schult , who won the discus throw with 68.82 meters and also set an Olympic record. The decathlon won Christian Schenk from the GDR in front of his compatriot Torsten Voss and the Canadian Dave Steen . The Olympic champion of 1984 Daley Thompson could not repeat his success and reached 22 points behind the bronze in fourth place. The German starter Jürgen Hingsen, who had a duel with Thompson in both Los Angeles and in between the games and set three world records, was already disqualified in the first competition, the 100 -meter run, after three false starts. The heptathlon won Jackie Joyner , which set the world record still valid today with a performance of 7291 points. With her victory in the long jump she became a double Olympic champion of the Seoul Games.

In the high jump of women, the decision between the American Louise Ritter and the Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinowa fell only in the jump-off, after both jumped the heights 1.80 to 2.01 meters in the first attempt. At the 2.03 meters failed both three times, so that they were granted another jump to the decision. Kostadinowa failed again, while Ritter jumped the height. With that she won gold and also set an Olympic record.

Modern pentathlon

In Modern Pentathlon , a single and a team competition were organized. The individual disciplines of riding , fencing , swimming , shooting and cross-country skiing were held at various competition sites. The gold medal went to the Hungarian János Martinek with 5404 points, silver to the Italian Carlo Massullo with 5379 points. The Soviet participant Wachtang Iagorashvili won with 5367 points bronze. In the team classification, Hungary beat Italy and Great Britain.


In cycling there were six competitions on the track and three on the road. The most successful nation was the USSR with four gold, one silver and two bronze medals, before the GDR with three gold, two silver and one bronze and the Netherlands each with a gold and silver medal. The street race of the men won Olaf Ludwig from the GDR in 4:32:22 hours, ahead of Bernd Gröne and Christian Henn , who both competed for the FRG. At the road race of the women 45 starters came as a field finish, so that the individual positions were awarded by photo-proof. In the Women's Sprint, which was held for the first time at the Olympics, won the Soviet driver Erika Salumäe, In the 4000-meter team pursuit, the team of the USSR won with 4:16:10 minutes in new world record time ahead of the Australian team, which also remained under the old world record.

horse riding

The six equestrian competitions in dressage , showjumping and eventing , held as a single and a team competition, were open to both men and women. The Federal Republic of Germany dominated the competitions with four gold and one silver medal. Nicole Uphoff won at the age of 21 years Rembrandt Gold in the individual and team competition dressage. She was the youngest Olympic champion in this discipline. With Margit Otto-Crépin from France, who won silver, and bronze winner Christine Stückelbergerfrom Switzerland, all medals in dressage went to women for the first time. In the team competition, the gold medal also went to the Federal Republic of Germany and silver to Switzerland. In addition, the riders of the FRG also won the team competition of versatility and show jumping. The single final in show jumping took place on the 2nd of October before the closing ceremony as the last competition of the games in the Olympic Stadium. Frenchman Pierre Durand won ahead of American Gregory Best and West German Karsten Huck .


In the wrestling competitions were held outdoor style and Greek-Roman style. They each took place in ten weight classes. The USSR dominated the competitions with eight gold medals, while host nation hosts won two gold medals. In the Greek-Roman class of 48 kilograms, Vincenzo Maenza , Italy's Vincenzo Maenza, considered 1984's "embarrassed Olympic champion" due to the absence of Eastern Bloc athletes, was able to repeat his success and win the gold medal. Kim Young-nam won the gold medal in the 74-kilogram class Greco-Roman and managed the first victory for the host nation at these games. The starting for the Soviet UnionAlexander Alexandrowitsch Karelin won the gold medal in the super heavyweight of the Greco-Roman style. He was able to repeat this success both in Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996 and also won silver medals in Sydney in 2000. In the featherweight class of freestyle wrestling John Smith won the gold medal. This achievement he could repeat four years later with another Olympic victory.


The finale of the foursome with helmsman

In the first week of games, the men in eight and the women in six boat classes in the rowing competitions . With eight gold medals rower of the GDR won over half of the titles. Italy was the second most successful nation ahead of the rowers from Romania with two Olympic victories. The three Italian brothers Carmine , Giuseppe and Agostino Abbagnale were involved in both gold medals in the pair with helmsman and Doppelvierer. In one, the West German star Peter-Michael Kolbe won the silver medal at the Olympics for the third time after 1976 in Montreal and 1984 in Los Angeles. He lost with just under five seconds to the GDR starter Thomas Lange, The Olympic champion of 1976 and 1984 Pertti Karppinen could only reach the B-finals, which he then won. The Federal Republic of Germany won their only gold medal in the premier class, the eighth.


In order to make the 13 competitions in shooting more exciting, the World Association UIT introduced the final shooting for the medal award. After a qualifying round, the eight best shooters reached the final, in which ten shots were to be delivered again, the rings were once again divided into tenths rings and attributed to the qualification result. The number of finalists differed in three cases: There were four finalists in the Current Disc competition and six in Trap and Skeet . Irina Schilowa from the Soviet Union won with the air rifle the first gold medal of the Seoul Olympic Games. The Brit Malcolm Cooperwas able to win his gold in the small-caliber three-position battle only thanks to the help of a Soviet armorer after a week before the shaft of his rifle was broken. The USSR was the most successful shooting nation with four gold, one silver and six bronze medals, followed by Yugoslavia and the Federal Republic of Germany.


A total of 944 athletes took part in the swimming competitions. The most successful nation was the German Democratic Republic with eleven gold, eight silver and nine bronze medals. It was followed by the United States with ten gold and silver, and six bronze medals and Hungary with four gold and two silver medals. The most successful swimmer was Kristin Otto , who won gold six times. She won over 50 and 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter back, 100-meter butterfly and in the freestyle and staggering stages. At the same time she was the most successful starter of these games. The US swimmer Matt Biondiwon seven medals, five of which were gold medals. In the final over 100 -meter butterfly Biondi defeated one hundredth of a second second back Anthony Nesty , who thus could win the first ever gold medal and the first ever Olympic medal for Suriname .

In water jumping , American Greg Louganis won two gold medals from the three-meter board and the 10-meter tower. In qualifying for the first competition, Louganis batted his head on the ninth jump against the board. After medical treatment, he continued the competition and reached the finals in third place, where he finished best with 730.80 points. For the ladies, the two gold medals were won by Chinese jumpers Gao Min and Xu Yanmei . In synchronized swimming , both titles went to Canada. Carolyn Waldo won the singles and brought with her partner Michelle Cameronalso in duet gold. In the water polo tournament won the team from Yugoslavia, which defeated the USA with 9: 7 after extra time in the final. Bronze went to the team from the Soviet Union, which was able to prevail in the small final with 14:13 against the Federal Republic of Germany.


Competition in the Finn class

There were eight sailing competitions in Seoul . For the Seoul games, the competitions were partly separated by gender, so that with the 470er dinghy was the first time a pure women's class. For the other competitions, women were allowed except in the men's 470 class. This rule was only used twice in the Tornado class . In the first place of the nations standings was France with two gold medals. The gold medal in Soling went to Thomas Flach , Bernd Jäkel and Jochen Schümann from the German Democratic Republic. In the 470 class of men were the launching for the Soviet Union brothers Tõnu Tõnisteand Toomas Tõniste before the last race on the first place. Then, however, they capsized in this and retired so that they could win only the silver medal behind the French Thierry Peponnet and Luc Pillot . In the Finn Dinghy class, Canadian Lawrence Lemieux broke the fifth race despite his good finish second to the injured and outgoing Joseph Chan and Siew Shawto rescue. He then continued the journey and reached the finish as 22nd, where he was disqualified because of surveying problems. After the rescue operation Lemieux were awarded the points of the runner-up. He was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal , the highest honor of the IOC for athletes.


Tennis was no longer Olympic since the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris . The resumption marked the departure from the exclusion of professional athletes. Since professionals were allowed to participate without restrictions, top players like Chris Evert , Gabriela Sabatini , Zina Garrison , Stefan Edberg , Henri Leconte and Tim Mayotte were in Seoul at the start. With her victory in the women's singles Steffi Graf was able to reach the 1988 "Golden Slam", ie the win of the four " Grand Slam " tournaments and the Olympic tournament. Together with Claudia Kohde-KilschGraf also won bronze in doubles. The two doubles titles went to the United States with the duo Ken Flach / Robert Seguso and Pam Shriver / Zina Garrison, the single title of the men won Miloslav Mečíř from Czechoslovakia.

table tennis

Table tennis celebrated its premiere in the Olympic program in Seoul in 1988, having been a demonstration sport four years earlier . Four nations won medals, with the exception of their main rivals, China and South Korea, who each won two gold medals, Yugoslavia and Sweden, but without gold. The South Korean Yoo Nam-kyu defeated his compatriot Kim Ki-taik in the men's singles with three to one sets and became the first Olympic champion in table tennis. The Chinese won in the women's singles a triple triumph, but had to give in the doubles defeated the duo from South Korea.


The gymnastics competitions and the rhythmic gymnastics competition were determined by the Eastern European nations, of which the Soviet Union was the most successful. Although it was only 15 competitions, but due to the same scores 19 gold medals were awarded. Twelve of them went to the Soviet Union. The most successful athlete was Vladimir Artemov from the USSR with four titles, followed by Romanian Daniela Silivaş with three. The Olympic gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics was provided by the Soviet participant Marina Lobatsch , who received the top ten scores in all four exams in the final, as in qualifying.


Twelve men's and eight women's teams took part in the volleyball tournaments of the 1988 Summer Olympics. In the men's tournament, the final between the United States and the Soviet Union, in which the United States won 3-1 sets. In the match for third place Brazil defeated the team from Argentina. In the women's tournament, the USSR defeated Peru 3-2 in the final and won gold. Bronze went to the People's Republic of China, whose team defeated Japan in the small final.

Demonstration sports and demonstrations

As demonstration sports in Seoul baseball and Taekwondo were represented. The baseball tournament won the US team, which defeated Japan 5: 3 in the final. Third place went to the team from Puerto Rico. The competitions in Taekwondo were dominated by South Korea. Athletes and athletes who started for the host country won nine of the 16 weight classes. The status of women's competitions in judo is not clear, they can be seen as a demonstration sport alongside Taekwondo and baseball, but were also considered by the IOC as part of the program. Two of the women's titles went to Judoka from the UK, which was the most successful nation. It was followed by Chinese athletes with one gold and two silver medals and Judoka from Japan with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals. All three demonstrations were included in the official program for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona .

In addition to the demonstration sports, there were three more, which were presented in demonstrations. So two wheelchair races took place in the Olympic Stadium. There was also a men's and women's competition in bowling . Also badminton was demonstration sport and was then included in the program of the Games of Barcelona.

Outstanding athletes

The most successful participant was the East German swimmer Kristin Otto , who won gold six times. Behind her were the swimmer Matt Biondi from the USA and the gymnast Vladimir Artemov from the USSR. With a total of seven medals Biondi won the most. Other outstanding achievements were winning the Golden Slam by Steffi Graf and winning a silver medal in cycling by Christa Luding-Rothenburger , who won two medals in speed skating seven months earlier at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary . The Swede Kerstin Palmwas the first woman to participate in the Olympic fencing competitions for the seventh time, while the Bahamian sailor Durward Knowles participated in the Olympic Games for the eighth time at the age of seventy and 323 days.

Most successful athletes of the 1988 Summer Olympics
Athlete team Sports Gold Silber Bronze total
Kristin Otto DDR German Democratic Republic swim 6 0 0 6
Matt Biondi Vereinigte Staaten United States swim 5 1 1 7
Vladimir Artyomov Sowjetunion Soviet Union gymnastics 4 1 0 5
Daniela Silivaş Rumänien Romania gymnastics 3 2 1 6
Florence Griffith-Joyner Vereinigte Staaten United States athletics 3 1 0 4
Dmitry Biloserchev Sowjetunion Soviet Union gymnastics 3 0 1 4
Janet Evans Vereinigte Staaten United States swim 3 0 0 3


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