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Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Women's 800 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 3, 1984

Gold: USA Tiffany Cohen
Silver: USA Michelle Richardson
Bronze: GBR Sarah Hardcastle

Summary

The world record in this event was the oldest one on the books, set in August 1978 by Australian Tracey Wickham at the Commonwealth Games. Wickham was now retired and the favorite in Los Angeles was Tiffany Cohen, who had already won a gold medal in the 400 free. The 1982 World Champion was American Kim Linehan, who had made the 1984 US Olympic team, but not in this event. Cohen was never challenged in winning the gold medal, finishing in 8:24.95, almost six seconds of her teammate [Michele Richardson]. Cohen’s time was the third fastest ever, trailing Wickham’s world record of 8:24.62 and Linehan’s American record of 8:24.70, set in 1979 at the US Nationals. The bronze medal went to Britain’s Sarah Hardcastle, who had already won a silver in the 400 free in Los Angeles. In 1986 Hardcastle would win the 400 and 800 free at the Commonwealth Games and then retire, only to return in 1993 and win the 1995 World Short-Course 800 freestyle, and compete again at the 1996 Olympics, where she made the final of this event.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Tiffany Cohen 18 United States USA Gold OR
2 Michelle Richardson 15 United States USA Silver
3 Sarah Hardcastle 15 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 Anna McVann 15 Australia AUS
5 Carla Lasi 19 Italy ITA
6 Jolande van der Meer 19 Netherlands NED
7 Monica Olmi 13 Italy ITA
8 Karen Ward 18 Canada CAN
9 Ann Linder 18 Sweden SWE
10 Donna McGinnis 15 Canada CAN
11 Birgit Kowalczik 16 West Germany FRG
12 Irma Huerta 14 Mexico MEX
13 Susie Baumer 18 Australia AUS
14 Annabelle Cripps 16 Great Britain GBR
15 Laurence Bensimon 21 France FRA
16 Nadia Krüger 16 Switzerland SUI
17 Lisa Ann Wen 19 Chinese Taipei TPE
18 Junko Sakurai 16 Japan JPN
19 Karen Slowing-Aceituno 15 Guatemala GUA
20 Chang Hui-Chien 14 Chinese Taipei TPE