In all, the U.S. women broke six American records, but for the most part, they were no match for the East Germans, who went one-two in six events. The G.D.R. women worked out to amplified rock music ("It keeps them happy," said Coach Horst Kleefeld) and got a world record from veteran Ulrike Tauber, who won the 200 individual medley in 2:15.85, lowering her own record for the second time in a week. But the show-stealer was 15-year-old newcomer Christiane Knacke, a Berliner with pierced ears and a powerhouse stroke that carried her to a world record in the 100 butterfly. Her 59.78 clocking was .35 below the record of retired countrywoman Kornelia Ender.
At least the U.S. women fared no worse than the G.D.R. men. Gregor Arnicke twice touched out American Rick Hofstetter to win the 100 and 200 breast-stroke. Despite his mediocre times (1:04.88 and 2:21.84), Arnicke's victories aroused the decorous home folks to something resembling fervor. But that was pretty much it for the G.D.R. men.
The U.S. men went one-two in seven events and some of them clearly regarded the competition as little more than a tune-up for the dual meet this weekend in Leningrad against the fast-improving Soviets. Goodell, for example, won the 400 freestyle in 3:51.56, trimming .37 off his world record, even though he was unchallenged most of the way, and then he took the 1,500 in an eased-up 15:27.99. That was more than 25 seconds over his world record of 15:02.4 and Goodell admitted to saving himself for an expected duel with Russia's Vladimir Salnikov.
"I started to taper my training for the Nationals last week and I'm just beginning to peak," Goodell said. "It should be really good next week."
As one of the oldest members of the men's team—he is 22—Joe Bottom was probably wise not to save himself. The easygoing 6'4�" Bottom has long been one of swimming's brightest performers but he began to break records in a big way only at this year's NCAA meet in Cleveland. There, rounding out his collegiate career for Southern Cal. he eclipsed Spitz' five-year-old American record in the 100-yard butterfly, while also becoming the first man to go under 20 seconds in the 50-yard free.
Still, there seemed little chance that Bottom could break the world record in the metric version of the 100 fly—not in Berlin, anyway. The night before the swim he tossed and turned and had to take a sleeping pill. Then he overslept the next day, missing his usual prerace warmup swim. "I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked," he said. "I was a little rushed."
He was still rushing when he hit the water. In an outside lane, Bottom moved as far as he could from Pyttel, who was in the lane next to him, "to avoid turbulence," he later explained. He had the race wrapped up by the turn and the only question remaining was whether he could get the record.
He got it with a lunge to the wall that made it clear he had been going for it all along. It was the last of Spitz' world records to fall, a milestone that had U.S. breaststroker Jeff Freeman hollering happily on the pool deck. "Spitz is gone. He is no more."
It seemed an odd thing to say about somebody who was right there at pool-side—and who warmly congratulated Bottom. But Freeman was right. As far as the record book is concerned, Mark Spitz is no more. Joe Bottom, co-captain of the touring U.S. swim team, did away with him in Berlin with a world record that indeed was very conspicuous.