Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Bernat Picornell Pools, Barcelona
Date Started: July 28, 1992
Date Finished: July 28, 1992
Janet Evans was the defending champion and had not lost at the distance in six years. She was the world record holder with 4:03.85 set winning the 1988 Olympics. German Dagmar Hase was a backstroker who elected to swim the 400 free at the German Trials as a training race and because it would not interfere with her backstroke events. In Barcelona Evans qualified first and Hase second, and Hase said, “I figured the gold would be taken by Evans, but I thought I could get silver or bronze.” Or maybe even better.
In the final, Evans set a fast pace, hoping to bury the other swimmers, but she never fully dropped Hase, who was only a body length behind at 300 metres. Hase then started gaining on the final two laps and caught Evans 10 metres from the wall, outtouching her in 4:07.18, Evans won silver in 4:07.37, only the ninth fastest time of her career, although she had been slowing each year in this race since 1989.
In her specialty, the backstroke, Hase did not do as well in Barcelona, winning silver in the 200 back and missing the A final in the 100. By Atlanta in 1996, she was a freestyler, winning bronze in the 200 free, and silvers in the 400 and 800 freestyles. Evans would come back a few days later and defend her Olympic gold medal in the 800 freestyle.
|2||Janet Evans||20||United States||USA||Silver|
|4||Erika Hansen||22||United States||USA|
|9||Philippa Langrell||20||New Zealand||NZL|
|18||Julie M. McDonald||22||Australia||AUS|
|19||Samantha Foggo||17||Great Britain||GBR|
|21||Jeanine Steenkamp||22||South Africa||RSA|
|25||Elizabeth Arnold||19||Great Britain||GBR|
|26||María José Marenco||15||El Salvador||ESA|
|30||Robyn Lamsam||14||Hong Kong||HKG|