| Event type

800 metres Freestyle, Women

Date26 July 1980
LocationPlavatelny basseyn, Sportivny kompleks Olimpiysky, Moskva
Participants14 from 9 countries

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. Wickham qualified for the 1980 Australian Olympic team, but elected not to compete, 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.

1Michelle FordAUS8:42.36 (2 h2)8:28.90 (1)Gold
2Ines DiersGDR8:40.29 (1 h2)8:32.55 (2)Silver
3Heike DähneGDR8:36.09 (1 h1)8:33.48 (3)Bronze
4Irina AksyonovaURS8:44.42 (2 h1)8:38.05 (4)
5Oksana KomissarovaURS8:45.80 (4 h1)8:42.04 (5)
6Pascale VerbauwenBEL8:45.12 (3 h1)8:44.84 (6)
7Ines GeißlerGDR8:46.96 (3 h2)8:45.28 (7)
8Yelena IvanovaURS8:47.33 (5 h1)8:46.45 (8)
9Rosemary BrownAUS8:49.47 (4 h2)
10Jackie WillmottGBR8:50.51 (5 h2)
11Reggie de JongNED8:54.49 (6 h2)
12Roberta FelottiITA8:58.54 (6 h1)
13Sofia DaraGRE9:02.37 (7 h2)
14Nikole SchrepferSUI9:15.11 (8 h2)
DNSKlára GulyásHUN– (DNS h1)
DNSMaría Pia AyoraPER– (DNS h1)

Round One (26 July 1980 — 11:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

13Heike DähneGDR8:36.09QOR
24Irina AksyonovaURS8:44.42Q
37Pascale VerbauwenBEL8:45.12Q
45Oksana KomissarovaURS8:45.80Q
56Yelena IvanovaURS8:47.33Q
62Roberta FelottiITA8:58.54
DNS1Klára GulyásHUN
DNS8María Pia AyoraPER

Heat Two

14Ines DiersGDR8:40.29Q
23Michelle FordAUS8:42.36Q
36Ines GeißlerGDR8:46.96Q
42Rosemary BrownAUS8:49.47
55Jackie WillmottGBR8:50.51
67Reggie de JongNED8:54.49
71Sofia DaraGRE9:02.37
88Nikole SchrepferSUI9:15.11

Final (26 July 1980 — 18:30)

13Michelle FordAUS8:28.90OR
25Ines DiersGDR8:32.55
34Heike DähneGDR8:33.48
46Irina AksyonovaURS8:38.05
57Oksana KomissarovaURS8:42.04
62Pascale VerbauwenBEL8:44.84
71Ines GeißlerGDR8:45.28
88Yelena IvanovaURS8:46.45