Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Bernat Picornell Pools, Barcelona
Date Started: July 30, 1992
Date Finished: July 30, 1992
[Janet Evans] was the defending champion, the world record holder with 8:16.22 set in winning the 1989 Pan Pacs, and had not lost at this distance in five years. Yet much the same was true in the 400 freestyle in 1992, and she had lost that race to [Dagmar Hase], taking silver. That would not happen in the 800. Evans went out fast, having a body length over [Hayley Lewis] (AUS) at 200 metres and only opening her margin throughout, winning by eight metres.
This was the fourth, and final, gold medal of Evans’ career, as she had won the 400 and 800 free and 400 IM in Seoul. She made the 1996 Olympic team in this event, but could only finish sixth in the final, and then retired. Or so it seemed. After marriage and having two children, Evans returned to the pool in 2011 with a goal of making the 2012 US Olympic team. But it was not to be. She qualified for the US Olympic Trials in Omaha, but was not close to making the team in either the 400 or 800 freestyle.
Hayley Lewis had an outstanding career in the international pool from 1990-95. She won five World medals, with a 1991 gold in the 200 freestyle, 11 medals at the Commonwealth Games, including seven golds, and won eight medals and two golds at the Pan Pacifics. She then moving to open water swimming, and won a bronze at the 2001 Worlds in the 5 km race. She hoped to qualify for another Olympics in the 10 km open water event, but it was not added to the 2004 Olympic Program.