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
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.