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Swimming at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: July 27, 1980
Events: 26

Participants: 333 (190 men and 143 women) from 41 countries
Youngest Participant: ANG Jorge Lima (13 years, 8 days)
Oldest Participant: VIE Nguyễn Mạnh Tuấn (33 years, 49 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): GDR Ines Diers (5 medals)
Most Medals (Country): GDR East Germany (30 medals)


The American-led boycott decimated the 1980 swimming events, especially on the men’s side, as it deprived the 1980 Olympics of the strongest men’s swimming nation – the United States. However, Australia was also very strong in the men’s events and it elected to compete. On the women’s side the US women were now surpassed by the woman of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) (East Germany), but the US would have been a contender in multiple events. One American woman was especially missed in 1980 – [Mary T. Meagher] – who was considered the greatest butterfly swimmer ever and was called “Madame Butterfly.”

The events were held at the Swimming Pool at the Olimpiysky Sports Complex, which was specially built for the 1980 Olympics. It is still used as a swimming pool and hosted the 2002 Short Course World Championships. The program was the same as in 1976, with 13 events for both men and women.

The GDR led both medal lists, with 12 golds and 30 medals, followed by the Soviet Union, who won 8 golds and 22 medals. The Soviet Union led the men’s list with 7 golds and 17 medals, while the GDR women won 11 of 13 medals and 26 of 39 medals.

Four swimmers won three gold medals in 1980 – East German women [Caren Metschuck], [Barbara Krause], and [Rica Reinisch]; and Soviet [Vladimir Salnikov] among the men. East German [Ines Diers] won five medals while Metschuck won four.


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's 100 metres Freestyle GDR Jörg Woithe SWE Per Holmertz SWE Per Johansson
Men's 200 metres Freestyle URS Sergey Koplyakov URS Andrey Krylov AUS Graeme Brewer
Men's 400 metres Freestyle URS Vladimir Salnikov URS Andrey Krylov URS Ivar Stukolkin
Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle URS Vladimir Salnikov URS Aleksandr Chayev AUS Max Metzker
Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay URS Soviet Union GDR East Germany BRA Brazil
Men's 100 metres Backstroke SWE Bengt Baron URS Viktor Kuznetsov URS Volodymyr Dolhov
Men's 200 metres Backstroke HUN Sándor Wladár HUN Zoltán Verrasztó AUS Mark Kerry
Men's 100 metres Breaststroke GBR Duncan Goodhew URS Arsens Miskarovs AUS Peter Evans
Men's 200 metres Breaststroke URS Robertas Žulpa HUN Albán Vermes URS Arsens Miskarovs
Men's 100 metres Butterfly SWE Pär Arvidsson GDR Roger Pyttel ESP David López-Zubero
Men's 200 metres Butterfly URS Serhiy Fesenko GBR Philip Hubble GDR Roger Pyttel
Men's 400 metres Individual Medley URS Oleksandr Sydorenko URS Serhiy Fesenko HUN Zoltán Verrasztó
Men's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay AUS Australia URS Soviet Union GBR Great Britain
Women's 100 metres Freestyle GDR Barbara Krause GDR Caren Metschuck GDR Ines Diers
Women's 200 metres Freestyle GDR Barbara Krause GDR Ines Diers GDR Carmela Schmidt
Women's 400 metres Freestyle GDR Ines Diers GDR Petra Schneider GDR Carmela Schmidt
Women's 800 metres Freestyle AUS Michelle Ford GDR Ines Diers GDR Heike Dähne
Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay GDR East Germany SWE Sweden NED Netherlands
Women's 100 metres Backstroke GDR Rica Reinisch GDR Ina Kleber GDR Petra Riedel
Women's 200 metres Backstroke GDR Rica Reinisch GDR Cornelia Polit GDR Birgit Treiber
Women's 100 metres Breaststroke GDR Ute Geweniger URS Elvira Vasilkova DEN Susanne Nielsson
Women's 200 metres Breaststroke URS Lina KačiuÅ¡ytė URS Svetlana Varganova URS Yuliya Bogdanova
Women's 100 metres Butterfly GDR Caren Metschuck GDR Andrea Pollack GDR Christiane Knacke
Women's 200 metres Butterfly GDR Ines Geißler GDR Sybille Schönrock AUS Michelle Ford
Women's 400 metres Individual Medley GDR Petra Schneider GBR Sharron Davies POL Agnieszka Czopek
Women's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay GDR East Germany GBR Great Britain URS Soviet Union