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Swimming at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 26, 1980
Date Finished: July 26, 1980

Gold: AUS Michelle Ford
Silver: GDR Ines Diers
Bronze: GDR Heike Dähne

Summary

Michelle Ford had set two world records in the 800 free early in 1978, only to be surpassed by her teammate Tracey Wickham, who twice bettered those marks, the last one to win the 1978 World Championships. But Wickham retired in 1979, citing financial problems that made her quit the training grind and go to work, although she would return in 1981 and win the 400/800 double at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. In her absence Ford won one of only two gold medals in Moscow that did not go to an East German woman, finishing in 8:28.90, although well off Wickham’s world record of 8:24.62. East Germany won silver-bronze, led by Ines Diers, who won medals in all four of the freestyle events in Moscow, adding a fifth medal in the free relay. Another missing swimmer was Kim Linehan, who won the 1980 US Nationals (two days after this final) in 8:27.86, well off her best time of 8:24.70, the second fastest performance ever.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Michelle Ford 18 Australia AUS Gold OR
2 Ines Diers 16 East Germany GDR Silver
3 Heike Dähne 18 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Irina Aksyonova 17 Soviet Union URS
5 Oksana Komissarova 15 Soviet Union URS
6 Pascale Verbauwen 17 Belgium BEL
7 Ines Geißler 17 East Germany GDR
8 Olena Ivanova 17 Soviet Union URS
4 h2 r1/2 Rosemary Brown 19 Australia AUS
5 h2 r1/2 Jacquelene Willmott 15 Great Britain GBR
6 h1 r1/2 Roberta Felotti 15 Italy ITA
6 h2 r1/2 Reggie de Jong 16 Netherlands NED
7 h2 r1/2 Sofia Dara 17 Greece GRE
8 h2 r1/2 Nikole Schrepfer 15 Switzerland SUI