| Event type

800 metres Freestyle, Women

Date22 – 24 October 1968
LocationAlberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez, Ciudad de México
Participants26 from 16 countries

The 800 metre freestyle was a new event for women on the Olympic Program. At the US Olympic Trials Debbie Meyer had set world records in the 200, 400, and 800 metre freestyles. Better in the distances she had already set five world records in this event, five in the 400, and three in the non-Olympic 1,500 free. Having already won gold in Mexico City in the 200 and 400 free, the only question was not if she would win, but by how much? By 400 metres she led by 4½ body lengths, followed by Australian 14-year-old Karen Moras, her teammate Pam Kruse, and Mexican favorite María Teresa Ramírez. Meyer finished in 9:24.0 to win her third individual freestyle gold medal by 11+ seconds, with Kruse taking silver. Ramírez won bronze as Swimming World noted, “The natatorium went loco as Ramírez touched out Moras by a tenth.” Through 2008, Debbie Meyer remains the only Olympic swimmer to have won three individual freestyle gold medals at the same Olympic Games.

1Debbie MeyerUSA9:42.8 (1 h1)9:24.0 (1)Gold
2Pam KruseUSA9:49.8 (1 h3)9:35.7 (2)Silver
3María Teresa RamírezMEX9:46.4 (1 h5)9:38.5 (3)Bronze
4Karen MorasAUS9:38.3 (1 h2)9:38.6 (4)
5Patty CarettoUSA9:46.4 (2 h5)9:51.3 (5)
6Angela CoughlanCAN10:00.2 (2 h1)9:56.4 (6)
7Denise LangfordAUS9:59.3 (2 h2)9:56.7 (7)
8Laura VacaMEX10:01.8 (3 h2)10:02.5 (8)
9Christine DeakesAUS10:06.7 (1 h4)
10Elisabeth MorrisSWE10:07.5 (2 h3)
11Sigrid GoralGDR10:09.3 (3 h1)
12Sue WilliamsGBR10:17.6 (3 h3)
13Sabine RantzschGDR10:18.4 (4 h3)
14Marie-José KersaudyFRA10:19.8 (2 h4)
15Novella CalligarisITA10:21.0 (3 h4)
16Dominique MollierFRA10:21.4 (3 h5)
17Marjatta HaraFIN10:23.3 (4 h5)
18Kristina MoirPUR10:24.5 (4 h1)
19Tui ShipstonNZL10:28.0 (4 h2)
20Norma AmezcuaMEX10:31.6 (5 h2)
21Helen ElliottPHI10:32.9 (5 h1)
22Olga de ÁnguloCOL10:40.5 (5 h5)
23Patricia OlanoCOL10:44.1 (4 h4)
24Mónica E. FigueroaURU10:57.7 (6 h2)
25Silvana AsturiasGUA11:12.5 (5 h4)
26Lylián CastilloURU11:19.1 (5 h3)
DNSAnna Ocsai GalsiHUN– (DNS h1)
DNSIngrid GustavssonSWE– (DNS h1)
DNSLorna BlakePUR– (DNS h2)
DNSVera KockSWE– (DNS h3)
DNSSally DavisonGBR– (DNS h4)
DNSSheila ClaytonGBR– (DNS h5)
DNSAna MarcialPUR– (DNS h5)

Round One (22 October 1968 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

13Debbie MeyerUSA9:42.8QOR
26Angela CoughlanCAN10:00.2Q
35Sigrid GoralGDR10:09.3
44Kristina MoirPUR10:24.5
52Helen ElliottPHI10:32.9
DNSAnna Ocsai GalsiHUN
DNSIngrid GustavssonSWE

Heat Two

16Karen MorasAUS9:38.3QOR
25Denise LangfordAUS9:59.3Q
33Laura VacaMEX10:01.8Q
47Tui ShipstonNZL10:28.0
52Norma AmezcuaMEX10:31.6
64Mónica E. FigueroaURU10:57.7
DNSLorna BlakePUR

Heat Three

15Pam KruseUSA9:49.8Q
24Elisabeth MorrisSWE10:07.5
33Sue WilliamsGBR10:17.6
42Sabine RantzschGDR10:18.4
56Lylián CastilloURU11:19.1

Heat Four

12Christine DeakesAUS10:06.7
23Marie-José KersaudyFRA10:19.8
36Novella CalligarisITA10:21.0
45Patricia OlanoCOL10:44.1
54Silvana AsturiasGUA11:12.5
DNSSally DavisonGBR

Heat Five

14María Teresa RamírezMEX9:46.4Q
22Patty CarettoUSA9:46.4Q
35Dominique MollierFRA10:21.4
46Marjatta HaraFIN10:23.3
53Olga de ÁnguloCOL10:40.5
DNSSheila ClaytonGBR
DNSAna MarcialPUR

Final (24 October 1968 — 17:00)

15Debbie MeyerUSA9:24.0OR
22Pam KruseUSA9:35.7
33María Teresa RamírezMEX9:38.5
44Karen MorasAUS9:38.6
56Patty CarettoUSA9:51.3
61Angela CoughlanCAN9:56.4
77Denise LangfordAUS9:56.7
88Laura VacaMEX10:02.5