Host City: Ciudad de MÃ©xico, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco MÃ¡rquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de MÃ©xico
Date Started: October 25, 1968
Date Finished: October 25, 1968
The world record holder was Karen Muir of South Africa, who could not compete because her nation was banned from the Olympics because of its policy of apartheid in sport (and elsewhere), and would remain banned until 1992. She had set four world records in the event since 1966 and was missed. Canadaâs [Elaine Tanner] had broken her streak with a single world record set in July 1967 in Winnipeg, Manitoba to win the Pan American Games. Americaâs best was [Pokey Watson], who was young and untried internationally. In the final Tanner took the lead over the first 100 metres with Watson second, followed by Yugoslaviaâs [Zdenka GaÅ¡paraÄ] and American [Kaye Hall] in fourth. Watson caught Tanner at the 125-metre mark and took the lead on the final turn, powering home to win in 2:24.8, 2.6 seconds ahead of Tanner, with Hall coming on strong for the bronze medal, and GaÅ¡paraÄ dropping back to sixth.