Passages: Guillermo Echevarria, Mexican Olympian and World-Record Holder, Dies at 73

Guillermo Echevarria

Passages: Guillermo Echevarria, Mexican Olympian and World-Record Holder, Dies at 73

Guillermo Echevarria, a two-time Mexican Olympic and former world-record holder, died on Nov. 24 at the age of 73. Echevarria represented Mexico at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, with his best finish a sixth-place showing in the 1500-meter freestyle at the Mexico City Games. According to reports from Mexican media, Echevarria died from cardiac arrest.

At the 1968 Santa Clara Invitational, Echevarria set a world record of 16:28.1 in the 1500 freestyle to break the previous standard of Mike Burton. The American reclaimed the world record nearly three months later and also captured the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, where Echevarria managed his sixth-place finish.

Echevarria made his Olympic debut at the 1964 Games, where he placed ninth in the 1500 freestyle and was a member of two Mexican relays. Four years later, his appearance in the final of the 1500 freestyle was complemented by an 11th-place effort in the 400 freestyle. During his career, Echevarria also excelled on the world stage in the 200 backstroke, 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley.

Echevarria is the only Mexican swimmer to have set a long-course world record.

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