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Swimming at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Women's 400 metres Individual Medley

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco Márquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 24, 1968
Date Finished: October 25, 1968

Gold: USA Claudia Kolb
Silver: USA Lynn Vidali
Bronze: GDR Sabine Steinbach

Summary

At Tokyo, Claudia Kolb had won a surprise silver medal in the 200 metre breaststroke, even though she was only 14-years-old. In the ensuing four years she had become the world’s best all-around swimmer, setting six world records in the 200 IM and four in the 400. At the 1967 Pan American Games she won three individual gold medals, in both individual medleys and the 200 butterfly. In Mexico City she was entered only in her two best events, the IMs, and she came through, easily winning two gold medals. On 20 October she won gold in the 200 IM, with the 400 final set for 25 October. She had won the 200 by over four seconds but that paled in comparison to her dominance in this event. Winning by almost 14 seconds, the largest margin in Olympic women’s swimming since before World War II, at the finish Kolb was half-a-pool ahead of the silver medalist, her teammate Lynn Vidali. East German Sabine Steinbach, who had been touched out for bronze in the 200 IM, placed third over the fast closing American Sue Pedersen.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Claudia Kolb 18 United States USA Gold OR
2 Lynn Vidali 16 United States USA Silver
3 Sabine Steinbach 16 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Sue Pedersen 14 United States USA
5 Shelagh Ratcliffe 16 Great Britain GBR
6 Marianne Seydel 18 East Germany GDR
7 Tui Shipston 17 New Zealand NZL
8 Laura Vaca 15 Mexico MEX
2 h1 r1/2 Larisa Zakharova 17 Soviet Union URS
2 h2 r1/2 Eva Sigg 17 Finland FIN
2 h5 r1/2 Dianna Rickard 15 Australia AUS
3 h1 r1/2 Hennie Penterman 17 Netherlands NED
3 h2 r1/2 Sue Eddy 15 Australia AUS
3 h4 r1/2 Eva Wittke 17 East Germany GDR
3 h5 r1/2 Heli Matzdorf 16 West Germany FRG
4 h1 r1/2 Carla Galle 20 Belgium BEL
4 h2 r1/2 Norma Amezcua 15 Mexico MEX
4 h3 r1/2 Tamara Oynick 15 Mexico MEX
4 h4 r1/2 Mariya Nikolova 17 Bulgaria BUL
4 h5 r1/2 Consuelo Changanaqui 17 Peru PER
5 h1 r1/2 Olga de Angulo 12 Colombia COL
5 h2 r1/2 Ruth Apt 15 Uruguay URU
5 h3 r1/2 Kirsten Strange-Campbell 24 Denmark DEN
5 h4 r1/2 Patricia Olano 18 Colombia COL
5 h5 r1/2 Nelly Syro 15 Colombia COL
6 h2 r1/2 Shen Bao-Ni 14 Chinese Taipei TPE
6 h4 r1/2 Yvonne Tobis 20 Israel ISR
7 h4 r1/2 Hedy García 18 Philippines PHI