| Event type

400 metres Individual Medley, Women

Date24 – 25 October 1968
LocationAlberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez, Ciudad de México
Participants28 from 19 countries

At Tokyo, Claudia Kolb had won a surprise silver medal in the 200 metre breaststroke, even though she was only 14-years-old. In the ensuing four years she had become the world’s best all-around swimmer, setting six world records in the 200 IM and four in the 400. At the 1967 Pan American Games she won three individual gold medals, in both individual medleys and the 200 butterfly. In Mexico City she was entered only in her two best events, the IMs, and she came through, easily winning two gold medals. On 20 October she won gold in the 200 IM, with the 400 final set for 25 October. She had won the 200 by over four seconds but that paled in comparison to her dominance in this event. Winning by almost 14 seconds, the largest margin in Olympic women’s swimming since before World War II, at the finish Kolb was half-a-pool ahead of the silver medalist, her teammate Lynn Vidali. East German Sabine Steinbach, who had been touched out for bronze in the 200 IM, placed third over the fast closing American Sue Pedersen.

1Claudia KolbUSA5:17.2 (1 h5)5:08.5 (1)Gold
2Lynn VidaliUSA5:28.9 (1 h3)5:22.2 (2)Silver
3Sabine SteinbachGDR5:31.3 (1 h2)5:25.3 (3)Bronze
4Sue PedersenUSA5:26.4 (1 h1)5:25.8 (4)
5Shelagh RatcliffeGBR5:33.2 (2 h3)5:30.5 (5)
6Marianne SeydelGDR5:30.9 (1 h4)5:32.0 (6)
7Tui ShipstonNZL5:33.7 (2 h4)5:34.6 (7)
8Laura VacaMEX5:33.7 (3 h3)5:35.7 (8)
9Eva SiggFIN5:37.3 (2 h2)
10Dianna RickardAUS5:37.8 (2 h5)
11Larisa ZakharovaURS5:38.6 (2 h1)
12Hennie PentermanNED5:38.8 (3 h1)
13Eva WittkeGDR5:40.6 (3 h4)
14Sue EddyAUS5:42.2 (3 h2)
15Mariya NikolovaBUL5:45.2 (4 h4)
16Norma AmezcuaMEX5:47.9 (4 h2)
17Tamara OynickMEX5:48.4 (4 h3)
18Heli MatzdorfFRG5:50.5 (3 h5)
19Consuelo ChanganachiPER5:52.2 (4 h5)
20Patricia OlanoCOL5:52.6 (5 h4)
21Yvonne TobisISR5:53.8 (6 h4)
22Carla GalleBEL5:55.2 (4 h1)
23Kirsten CampbellDEN5:59.0 (5 h3)
24Olga de AnguloCOL6:00.6 (5 h1)
25Ruth AptURU6:04.5 (5 h2)
26Hedy GarcíaPHI6:07.3 (7 h4)
27Nelly SyroCOL6:13.1 (5 h5)
28Shen Bao-NiTPE6:21.5 (6 h2)
DNSDanièle DorléansFRA– (DNS h1)
DNSKristina MoirPUR– (DNS h1)
DNSFelicia OspitaletcheURU– (DNS h1)
DNSDonatella FerracutiESA– (DNS h2)
DNSAdriana ComolliARG– (DNS h3)
DNSMárta EgerváryHUN– (DNS h3)
DNSNovella CalligarisITA– (DNS h5)
DNSPru ChapmanNZL– (DNS h5)
DNSPat ChanSGP– (DNS h5)

Round One (24 October 1968 — 10:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

15Sue PedersenUSA5:26.4Q
22Larisa ZakharovaURS5:38.6
33Hennie PentermanNED5:38.8
46Carla GalleBEL5:55.2
54Olga de AnguloCOL6:00.6
DNSDanièle DorléansFRA
DNSKristina MoirPUR
DNSFelicia OspitaletcheURU

Heat Two

14Sabine SteinbachGDR5:31.3Q
22Eva SiggFIN5:37.3
36Sue EddyAUS5:42.2
47Norma AmezcuaMEX5:47.9
55Ruth AptURU6:04.5
63Shen Bao-NiTPE6:21.5
DNSDonatella FerracutiESA

Heat Three

13Lynn VidaliUSA5:28.9Q
24Shelagh RatcliffeGBR5:33.2Q
36Laura VacaMEX5:33.7Q
45Tamara OynickMEX5:48.4
52Kirsten CampbellDEN5:59.0
DNSAdriana ComolliARG
DNSMárta EgerváryHUN

Heat Four

15Marianne SeydelGDR5:30.9Q
21Tui ShipstonNZL5:33.7Q
36Eva WittkeGDR5:40.6
43Mariya NikolovaBUL5:45.2
52Patricia OlanoCOL5:52.6
64Yvonne TobisISR5:53.8
77Hedy GarcíaPHI6:07.3

Heat Five

16Claudia KolbUSA5:17.2QOR
22Dianna RickardAUS5:37.8
35Heli MatzdorfFRG5:50.5
44Consuelo ChanganachiPER5:52.2
53Nelly SyroCOL6:13.1
DNSNovella CalligarisITA
DNSPru ChapmanNZL

Final (25 October 1968 — 17:00)

14Claudia KolbUSA5:08.5OR
23Lynn VidaliUSA5:22.2
32Sabine SteinbachGDR5:25.3
45Sue PedersenUSA5:25.8
57Shelagh RatcliffeGBR5:30.5
66Marianne SeydelGDR5:32.0
78Tui ShipstonNZL5:34.6
81Laura VacaMEX5:35.7