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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Women's 200 metres Butterfly

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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 4, 1984
Date Finished: August 4, 1984

Gold: USA Mary T. Meagher
Silver: AUS Karen Phillips
Bronze: FRG Ina Beyermann

Summary

From 1979-82 [Mary T. Meagher] became the greatest butterfly swimmer ever. She set five world marks in this event, topped by her 2:05.96 at the US Nationals in 1981, when she also shattered the 100 fly record with 57.93. Both world records would stay on the books until 1999, but after starting college in 1983, Meagher lost her dominance. However, she dropped out of school in 1984 to focus on Olympic training and had already won the 100 fly in Los Angeles when this event started. She had come back to dominate, although perhaps not what she once was.

Swimming World noted that Mary T was the only swimmer who was hurt by the absence of the East German women, as they could have pushed her to even better times, and she would have had the chance to prove her dominance over them. She had actually lost the 1982 World Championships in the 200 fly to [Ines Geisler]. After qualifying first in Los Angeles, Mary T was out in front in the final from the gun. Her opening 50 was 29.30, actually under her world record pace. She slowed by 150 but still led her teammate [Nancy Hogshead] by two bodylengths. Meagher finished in 2:06.90 for her third gold medal of the Olympics, also including the medley relay. It was the third-fastest time ever, and gave her the seven fastest 200 fly times of all-time. Behind her, Hogshead struggled on the final lap and was passed by Australia’s [Karen Phillips], who won silver, and bronze medalist [Ina Beyermann].