Brilliant Biondi!

Matthew Nicholas Biondi, popularly known as Matt Biondi is known as much for his golden splash in the pool as for his dramatic defeat at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

With his incredible sprinting abilities, Biondi stacked up 11 medals from three Olympics — 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona — all but one in his favourite freestyle segment.

The American swimming great had to be satisfied with silver in the 100M butterfly in Seoul after suffering a sensational loss. Biondi, who was caught between the strokes as he approached the finishing wall, chose to glide instead of taking another stroke, and was beaten by Anthony Nesty of Suriname by 0.01 of a second.

The setback hardly mattered as Biondi went home with five titles — 50, 100 freestyle, 4x100, 4x200 freestyle relays and 4x100M medley relay — with world records to boot in four of those events from the the Korean capital. He set the then world record of 22.14 seconds in the one-lap freestyle before clocking the first sub-49.00 in the two-lap race, setting a new Olympic record of 48.63 seconds.

Biondi attempted to duplicate Mark Spitz’s seven-gold medal effort but failed in his bid. Biondi, who won three gold medals each at the World Championshipsin 1986 and 1991, shares the record for most medals at the Worlds -- seven -- with the legendary Michael Phelps.

Born on October 8, 1965, Biondi started out as a swimmer and water polo player in his hometown of Moraga. The 6 feet 7 inches giant shot into limelight by qualifying for the 1984 Olympics in the US 4×100M freestyle relay team. The US quartet won the gold in a world record time and from then on, Biondi never looked back.

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