| Event type

400 metres Individual Medley, Women

Date26 July 1980
LocationPlavatelny basseyn, Sportivny kompleks Olimpiysky, Moskva
Participants16 from 11 countries

Twice in 1980 East German Petra Schneider had bettered the world record, leaving it at 4:38.44 coming into Moscow. In the Olympic final she improved that, finishing in 4:36.29, as she crushed her opponents, winning by over 10 seconds from Britain’s Sharron Davies. Schneider’s dominance is underscored when one realizes that Davies mark of 4:46.83 made her the fourth fastest swimmer ever. The bronze medal went to Agnieszka Czopek, the first swimming medal ever won by a Polish swimmer.

Despite this era of simon-pure amateurism, David Wallechinsky describes in The Complete Book of the Olympics that Schneider later revealed that she had received 20,000 East German marks for her victory, while Davies was stripped of her amateur for receiving $40 for appearing on a television program.

1Petra SchneiderGDR4:46.53 (1 h3)4:36.29 (1)Gold
2Sharron DaviesGBR4:52.38 (1 h1)4:46.83 (2)Silver
3Agnieszka CzopekPOL4:49.04 (2 h3)4:48.17 (3)Bronze
4Grit SlabyGDR4:52.01 (2 h2)4:48.54 (4)
5Ulrike TauberGDR4:51.97 (1 h2)4:49.18 (5)
6Sonya DangalakovaBUL4:56.26 (3 h2)4:49.25 (6)
7Olga KlevakinaURS4:55.99 (2 h1)4:50.91 (7)
8Magdalena BiałasPOL4:51.59 (3 h3)4:53.30 (8)
9Christel FechnerBEL4:56.92 (4 h2)
10Ann-Sofi RoosSWE4:57.13 (4 h3)
11Lisa CurryAUS5:01.58 (5 h3)
12Sarah KerswellGBR5:03.75 (3 h1)
13Mariana ParaschivROU5:04.56 (4 h1)
14Irinel PănulescuROU5:07.74 (6 h3)
15Catherine BohanIRL5:21.82 (7 h3)
16María Pia AyoraPER5:27.19 (5 h1)
DNSKlára GulyásHUN– (DNS h1)
DNSMichelle FordAUS– (DNS h2)
DNSLisa ForrestAUS– (DNS h2)
DNSSusanne NielssonDEN– (DNS h2)

Round One (26 July 1980 — 12:00)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

14Sharron DaviesGBR4:52.38Q
25Olga KlevakinaURS4:55.99Q
32Sarah KerswellGBR5:03.75
43Mariana ParaschivROU5:04.56
57María Pia AyoraPER5:27.19
DNS6Klára GulyásHUN

Heat Two

14Ulrike TauberGDR4:51.97Q
25Grit SlabyGDR4:52.01Q
31Sonya DangalakovaBUL4:56.26Q
47Christel FechnerBEL4:56.92
DNS2Michelle FordAUS
DNS3Lisa ForrestAUS
DNS6Susanne NielssonDEN

Heat Three

14Petra SchneiderGDR4:46.53Q
25Agnieszka CzopekPOL4:49.04Q
36Magdalena BiałasPOL4:51.59Q
42Ann-Sofi RoosSWE4:57.13
53Lisa CurryAUS5:01.58
67Irinel PănulescuROU5:07.74
71Catherine BohanIRL5:21.82

Final (26 July 1980 — 20:00)

14Petra SchneiderGDR4:36.29WR
27Sharron DaviesGBR4:46.83
35Agnieszka CzopekPOL4:48.17
42Grit SlabyGDR4:48.54
56Ulrike TauberGDR4:49.18
68Sonya DangalakovaBUL4:49.25
71Olga KlevakinaURS4:50.91
83Magdalena BiałasPOL4:53.30