Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 22, 1980
Date Finished: July 22, 1980
Australian [Tracey Wickham] had won the 1978 World Championships, setting a world record of 4:06.28, breaking the mark of 4:07.66 set by American [Kim Linehan] in qualifying for the US world’s team. Neither was in Moscow, Linehan ousted by the Jimmy Carter-led boycott, while Wickham retired at the 1979 because of financial problems (she came back in 1981). This was never a problem for East Germany’s state-supported swimmers and without Wickham and Linehan, they swept the medals in this event, as they had done in the 100 and 200 freestyles. The final was paced by [Petra Schneider] through 300 metres but [Ines Diers] came on in the final 100 for the gold medal in a time of 4:08.76, [Carmela Schmidt] winning bronze, which she would later repeat in the 200 free. Nine days later at the US Nationals, Linehan won in 4:07.77, followed by [Sippy Woodhead] in 4:08.17.