For just the second time in Olympic history, the Summer Games went to Asia when Seoul hosted 1988 Olympiad. Competition was back to full force following two successive boycott-hit Olympics, and the Soviet Union and East Germany, both absent in Los Angeles four years earlier, made up for lost time by winning 55 and 37 gold medals, respectively. The US finished third with 36. These Olympics were not completely boycott-free, though; North Korea called for its own boycott, but only Cuba, Nicaragua and Ethiopia heeded the call. In the end, a then-record 159 nations took part.
Canada’s Ben Johnson pulled off a shocker by beating 1984 gold medalist Carl Lewis of the United States in the finals of the 100m dash, but he was later stripped of both his gold medal and world record after testing positive for steroids.
Boxer Leopoldo Serantes ended a 24-year medal drought for the Philippines by winning the bronze in the light-flyweight division. Serantes won his first three bouts in convincing fashion but was outclassed by Bulgarian Ivailo Marinov Khristov in the semifinals, losing 5-0. (Source: Olympic.org)
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