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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 [Pamela Kruse], and Mexican favorite [María Theresa 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.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Debbie Meyer 16 United States USA Gold OR
2 Pam Kruse 18 United States USA Silver
3 María Teresa Ramírez 14 Mexico MEX Bronze
4 Karen Moras 14 Australia AUS
5 Patty Caretto 17 United States USA
6 Angela Coughlan 16 Canada CAN
7 Denise Langford 14 Australia AUS
8 Laura Vaca 15 Mexico MEX
1 h4 r1/2 Christine Deakes 15 Australia AUS
2 h3 r1/2 Elisabeth Ljunggren-Morris 20 Sweden SWE
2 h4 r1/2 Marie-José Kersaudy 14 France FRA
3 h1 r1/2 Sigrid Goral 16 East Germany GDR
3 h3 r1/2 Susan Williams 16 Great Britain GBR
3 h4 r1/2 Novella Calligaris 13 Italy ITA
3 h5 r1/2 Dominique Mollier 19 France FRA
4 h1 r1/2 Kristina Moir 17 Puerto Rico PUR
4 h2 r1/2 Tui Shipston 17 New Zealand NZL
4 h3 r1/2 Sabine Rantzsch 15 East Germany GDR
4 h4 r1/2 Patricia Olano 18 Colombia COL
4 h5 r1/2 Marjatta Hara 17 Finland FIN
5 h1 r1/2 Helen Elliott 19 Philippines PHI
5 h2 r1/2 Norma Amezcua 15 Mexico MEX
5 h3 r1/2 Lylian Castillo 15 Uruguay URU
5 h4 r1/2 Silvana Asturias 15 Guatemala GUA
5 h5 r1/2 Olga de Angulo 12 Colombia COL
6 h2 r1/2 Emilia Figueroa 15 Uruguay URU