Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 24, 1980
Date Finished: July 24, 1980
This was one event where the American men would not have been favored. Soviet star Vladimir Salnikov had won the 400 and 1,500 metre freestyles at the 1978 World Championships in Berlin, and had bettered the world record in this event twice in 1979, and improved it again early in 1980. However, he had lost it only a few days before the 1980 Games to Canada’s Peter Szmidt, who was not in Moscow. Salnikov easily won the gold medal, but he was somewhat disappointed with his time of 3:51.31, which was not even a personal best for him. In his wake was teammate [Andrey Krylov], who had also been silver medalist in the 200 freestyle, followed by [Ivar Stukolkin], as the Soviets swept the medals. This made them the fifth nation, after Australia, Germany, Japan and the United States, to have a medal sweep in an Olympic men’s event. Because of the changes in Olympic rules, which beginning in 1984 limited nations to only two swimmers per individual event, this is also the last men’s swimming to have seen one nation sweep the medals. One week after this final, American [Mike Bruner] won the US Nationals in 3:52.19.