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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's 400 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 2, 1984
Date Finished: August 2, 1984

Gold: USA George DiCarlo
Silver: USA John Mykkanen
Bronze: AUS Justin Lemberg


The best 400 freestyler in the world was not in Los Angeles. That was [Vladimir Salnikov] of the USSR, defending champion in this event, 1978 and 1982 World Champion at both the 400 and 1,500, and a five-time world record in this event. Salnikov had swum 3:48.23 at Moscow in February 1983 for the current world mark as the Los Angeles Olympics opened. It was never challenged. The favorites in LA were American [George DiCarlo] and West German [Thomas Fahrner]. DiCarlo qualified comfortably in third place, as the leading morning qualifier was Fahrner’s teammate [Stefan Pfeiffer], followed by American [John Mykkanen], and DiCarlo. Fahrner wanted to save himself for the evening final and only aimed for a qualifying time that would put him in outside lane, but he misjudged the qualifying times, placed ninth, and did not make the final.

In the final DiCarlo and Mykkanen fought out a very close race, with DiCarlo winning gold in 3:51.23, nowhere near Salnikov’s times. Mykkanen won silver followed by Australian [Justin Lemberg] for the bronze. DiCarlo’s set an Olympic record, bettering Salnikov’s 3:51.31 from Moscow, but it did not last long. The B final started 10 minutes after the main final, and Thomas Fahrner elected to race. Putting everything he had into it, Fahrner finished in 3:50.91 to set the Olympic record, despite finishing 9th overall in the event. The officials from FINA initially considered not awarding the Olympic record to Fahrner, but quickly reversed themselves.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalB FinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 George DiCarlo 21 United States USA Gold OR
2 John Mykkanen 17 United States USA Silver
3 Justin Lemberg 17 Australia AUS Bronze
4 Stefan Pfeiffer 18 West Germany FRG
5 Franck Iacono 18 France FRA
6 Darjan Petrič 19 Yugoslavia YUG
7 Marco Dell'Uomo 22 Italy ITA
8 Ron McKeon 23 Australia AUS
9 Thomas Fahrner 21 West Germany FRG OR
10 Juan Escalas 20 Spain ESP
11 Peter Szmidt 22 Canada CAN
12 Stefano Grandi 21 Italy ITA
13 Arne Borgstrøm 25 Norway NOR
14 Andrew Astbury 23 Great Britain GBR
15 Marcelo Jucá 20 Brazil BRA
16 Mike Davidson 21 New Zealand NZL
17 Carlos Scanavino 20 Uruguay URU QC
18 Borut Petrič 23 Yugoslavia YUG QC
19 Dave Shemilt 19 Canada CAN
20 Marc Van De Weghe 20 Belgium BEL
21 Anders Grillhammar 19 Sweden SWE
22 Shigeo Ogata 15 Japan JPN
23 Anders Holmertz 15 Sweden SWE
24 Jean-Marie François 21 Venezuela VEN
25 Paul Howe 19 Great Britain GBR
26 Alejandro Lecot 21 Argentina ARG
27 Keisuke Okuno 18 Japan JPN
28 William Wilson 19 Philippines PHI
29 Gökhan Attaroğlu 19 Turkey TUR
30 Franz Mortensen 20 Denmark DEN
31 Evert Kroon 17 Netherlands Antilles AHO
32 Scott Newkirk 23 United States Virgin Islands ISV
33 Wu Ming-Hsun 16 Chinese Taipei TPE
34 Ahmet Nakkaş 21 Turkey TUR
35 Lin Chun-Hong 18 Chinese Taipei TPE
36 Julian Bolling 18 Sri Lanka SRI