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Swimming at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Swimming Pool, Olympiysky Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 26, 1980
Date Finished: July 26, 1980

Gold: AUS Michelle Ford
Silver: GDR Ines Diers
Bronze: GDR Heike Dähne


[Michelle Ford] had set two world records in the 800 free early in 1978, only to be surpassed by her teammate [Tracey Wickham], who twice bettered those marks, the last one to win the 1978 World Championships. But Wickham retired in 1979, citing financial problems that made her quit the training grind and go to work, although she would return in 1981 and win the 400/800 double at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. In her absence Ford won one of only two gold medals in Moscow that did not go to an East German woman, finishing in 8:28.90, although well off Wickham’s world record of 8:24.62. East Germany won silver-bronze, led by [Ines Diers], who won medals in all four of the freestyle events in Moscow, adding a fifth medal in the free relay. Another missing swimmer was [Kim Linehan], who won the 1980 US Nationals (two days after this final) in 8:27.86, well off her best time of 8:24.70, the second fastest performance ever.

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