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Swimming at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1968 Summer Games: Next Summer Games


Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Francisco Márquez Olympic Swimming Pool, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 22, 1968
Date Finished: October 24, 1968

Gold: USA Debbie Meyer
Silver: USA Pam Kruse
Bronze: MEX María Teresa Ramírez


The 800 metre freestyle was a new event for women on the Olympic Program. At the US Olympic Trials [Debbie Meyer] had set world records in the 200, 400, and 800 metre freestyles. Better in the distances she had already set five world records in this event, five in the 400, and three in the non-Olympic 1,500 free. Having already won gold in Mexico City in the 200 and 400 free, the only question was not if she would win, but by how much? By 400 metres she led by 4½ body lengths, followed by Australian 14-year-old [Karen Moras], her teammate [Pam Kruse], and Mexican favorite [María Teresa Ramírez]. Meyer finished in 9:24.0 to win her third individual freestyle gold medal by 11+ seconds, with Kruse taking silver. Ramírez won bronze as Swimming World noted, “The natatorium went loco as Ramírez touched out Moras by a tenth.” Through 2008, Debbie Meyer remains the only Olympic swimmer to have won three individual freestyle gold medals at the same Olympic Games.

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