Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 27, 1980
Date Finished: July 27, 1980
American [Linda Jezek] would have been the favorite if the USA was in Moscow. She had won the 100 and 200 backstrokes at the 1978 World Championships, with her winning mark in this event a still-standing world record of 2:11.93 as the Games started. Four days before [Rica Reinisch] had won gold in the 100 backstroke, and was highly considered, but her personal best as recently as June 1980 was only 2:15.59, far from the top international level. But she led throughout in Moscow, leading the East German women to a medal sweep, and finishing in 2:11.77 to better Jezekâs world record. Bronze medalist [Birgit Treiber] had won silver in this event at the 1976 Olympics, and had been silver medalist behind Jezek in both backstrokes at the 1978 Worlds.