Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: August 2, 1984
Date Finished: August 2, 1984
|Gold:||Petra van Staveren|
In the absence of the East German women, the three pre-meet favorites were Canadaâs [Anne Ottenbrite], Japanâs [Hiroko Nagasaki], and American [Tracy Caulkins]. But they qualified only 6-7-8 in the prelims, and Caulkins only made the final after the disqualification of Italyâs [Manuela Dalla Valle] for using an illegal kick. The leading qualifier was Frenchwoman [CathÃ©rine Poirot], a veteran with an undistinguished international career, but one who had improved dramatically in the Olympic year. The second best mark in the prelims was set by [Petra van Staveren] of the Netherlands, another international veteran, who had trailed in the East German wakes for several years. The final seemed wide open.
But van Staveren controlled the entire race. She turned a half-bodylength in front of Poirot and Caulkins, although Caulkins had a great turn to almost make up the deficit. But then Ottenbrite and Poirot passed her near the wall to decide the medals. Van Staverenâs gold was a surprise but her national record of 1:09.88 made her the fifth fastest performer of all-time. Nagasaki was never a factor, placing sixth. This was the only womenâs event in Los Angeles in which American women did not win a medal.