Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: July 30, 1984
Date Finished: July 30, 1984
Just before this final, [Alex Baumann] won the men’s 400 IM, the first gold medal by a Canadian swimmer since 1912. Watching the race, [Anne Ottenbrite] had tears in her eyes, as she watched her teammate win. Ottenbrite had been placed on the Canadian Olympic squad despite being unable to swim at the Trials because of a recently dislocated kneecap. The favorite in this race, however, was Japan’s [Hiroko Nagasaki] who had the the best time in the world in 1983, 2:29.81. But she was bothered in LA by knee tendinitis and qualified only fifth. In the final Nagasaki and Ottenbrite went out in the lead, well ahead of Olympic record pace. But neither could maintain that pace, although Ottenbrite held on for the gold medal, coming home in 2:30.38. Nagasaki faded badly on the final lap and finished out of the medals in fourth. The silver went to American [Susan Rapp], who came from nowhere in the final 50. She was trailed by the surprising Belgian [Ingrid Lempereur], who came into Los Angeles with a PR of only 2:38.06, but improved that to 2:31.40 for the bronze.