British Olympic Swimming Champion David Wilkie Dies at 70

David Wilkie, the celebrated British Olympic swimming champion, has passed away at the age of 70. The Scottish swimmer, known for his outstanding achievements in the pool, died peacefully surrounded by his family following a battle with cancer, his family confirmed in a statement.

Born in Sri Lanka to Scottish parents, Wilkie’s illustrious career began with a bronze medal at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. He went on to win Olympic silver in the 200m breaststroke in Munich in 1972 and clinched World Championship gold the following year.

Wilkie’s most notable accomplishment came at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where he won gold in the 200m breaststroke, setting a new world record by shaving more than three seconds off the previous time. He also secured a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the same Games. This victory made him the first British man to win Olympic gold in the pool in 68 years and capped an unbeaten streak over 200m breaststroke that lasted four years.

In addition to his Olympic success, Wilkie was a dominant force at the Commonwealth Games, securing two gold medals and a silver for Scotland in 1974. His achievements in 1975 included a historic double victory in the 100m and 200m breaststroke at the World Championships, leading to him being named British Sports Personality of the Year.

Wilkie retired from competitive swimming just one month after his Olympic triumph in Montreal at the age of 22. In recognition of his contributions to the sport, he was awarded an MBE in 1977.

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