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Swimming at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Women's 200 metres Butterfly

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 21, 1980
Date Finished: July 21, 1980

Gold: GDR Ines Geißler
Silver: GDR Sybille Schönrock
Bronze: AUS Michelle Ford


[Mary T. Meagher] was the world’s greatest butterfly swimmer, bar none. She had set three world records in 1979, lowering the mark from [Tracy Caulkins]’s 2:09.87, set in 1978, to 2:07.01. The two weeks before the Moscow Olympics, Meagher took the mark down further, to 2:06.37, at a meet in Irvine, California. In August 1981 at the US Nationals, that mark fell to her as she finished in 2:05.96, a world record that would last until 1999. Despite the East German women’s hegemony in Moscow, Meagher would have won.

Without her the gold medal went to the GDR’s [Ines Geißler], who would later win the event at the 1981 Europeans and 1982 World Championships. Her Moscow gold came by only 1/100th of a second over teammate [Sybille Schönrock], who was never heard from again.

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