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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Women's 400 metres Individual Medley

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: July 29, 1984
Date Finished: July 29, 1984

Gold: USA Tracy Caulkins
Silver: AUS Suzie Landells
Bronze: FRG Petra Zindler

Summary

Tracy Caulkins had been the best all-around swimmer in the world in 1978-80, being named World Swimmer of the Year in 1978, after winning both IM races at the 1978 World Championships in world record times. But by 1984 she had been surpassed by the East Germans, notably Petra Schneider, the 1980 Olympic champion in this event, the current world record holder, and the 1982 World Champion in both IMs. Without the East Germans in Los Angeles there was no competition for Caulkins. She won the gold by 15 metres, and over nine seconds, recording 4:39.24 – approaching Schneider, who had won in Moscow by over 10 seconds.\n\nTrailing in second place here was Australian [Suzanne Landells] who had barely qualified for the final, placing eighth by 1/100th of a second. In 1986 Landells won both IMs at the Commonwealth Games. Another surprise in Los Angeles was the bronze medalist, Petra Zindler of West Germany. Her best time in 1984 was only 4:52.38, but she qualified third fastest and matched that in the final, improving to 4:48.57.\n\nAt the Friendship Games, three weeks hence, this event was won by Soviet swimmer Yelena Dendeberova in 4:43.78, well off Caulkins’ Olympic winning time, and trailed by East German Kathleen Nord, who Caulkins considered her biggest rival in 1984, but who swam poorly to finish in 4:49.49.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Tracy Caulkins 21 United States USA Gold
2 Suzie Landells 19 Australia AUS Silver
3 Petra Zindler 18 West Germany FRG Bronze
4 Sue Heon 22 United States USA
5 Nathalie Gingras 20 Canada CAN
6 Donna McGinnis 15 Canada CAN
7 Gaynor Stanley 18 Great Britain GBR
8 Kathrine Bomstad 21 Norway NOR
9 Sarah Hardcastle 15 Great Britain GBR
10 Sofia Kraft 18 Sweden SWE
11 Karen Phillips 18 Australia AUS
12 Roberta Felotti 19 Italy ITA
13 Sonja Hausladen 21 Austria AUT
14 Hideka Koshimizu 19 Japan JPN
15 Gail Jonson 19 New Zealand NZL
16 Aneta Pătrăşcoiu 16 Romania ROU
17 Monika Bayer 17 Austria AUT
18 Karin Brandes 16 Peru PER