| Event type

400 metres Individual Medley, Women

Date29 July 1984
LocationOlympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Participants18 from 13 countries

Tracy Caulkins had been the best all-around swimmer in the world in 1978-80, being named World Swimmer of the Year in 1978, after winning both IM races at the 1978 World Championships in world record times. But by 1984 she had been surpassed by the East Germans, notably Petra Schneider, the 1980 Olympic champion in this event, the current world record holder, and the 1982 World Champion in both IMs. Without the East Germans in Los Angeles there was no competition for Caulkins. She won the gold by 15 metres, and over nine seconds, recording 4:39.24 – approaching Schneider, who had won in Moscow by over 10 seconds.

Trailing in second place here was Australian Suzie Landells who had barely qualified for the final, placing eighth by 1/100th of a second. In 1986 Landells won both IMs at the Commonwealth Games. Another surprise in Los Angeles was the bronze medalist, Petra Zindler of West Germany. Her best time in 1984 was only 4:52.38, but she qualified third fastest and matched that in the final, improving to 4:48.57.

At the Friendship Games, three weeks hence, this event was won by Soviet swimmer Yelena Dendeberova in 4:43.78, well off Caulkins’ Olympic winning time, and trailed by East German Kathleen Nord, who Caulkins considered her biggest rival in 1984, but who swam poorly to finish in 4:49.49.

PosSwimmerNOCR1B FinalFinal
1Tracy CaulkinsUSA4:44.42 (1 h3)4:39.24 (1)Gold
2Suzie LandellsAUS4:54.13 (2 h3)4:48.30 (2)Silver
3Petra ZindlerFRG4:52.49 (1 h1)4:48.57 (3)Bronze
4Sue HeonUSA4:51.32 (1 h2)4:49.41 (4)
5Nathalie GingrasCAN4:51.77 (2 h2)4:50.55 (5)
6Donna McGinnisCAN4:53.30 (2 h1)4:50.65 (6)
7Gaynor StanleyGBR4:53.70 (3 h1)4:52.83 (7)
8Kathrine BomstadNOR4:52.74 (3 h2)4:53.28 (8)
9Sarah HardcastleGBR4:55.78 (5 h3)4:51.55 (1)
10Sofia KraftSWE4:55.10 (4 h1)4:53.25 (2)
11Karen PhillipsAUS4:54.28 (4 h3)4:53.37 (3)
12Roberta FelottiITA4:54.14 (3 h3)4:57.74 (4)
13Sonja HausladenAUT4:58.68 (4 h2)4:57.78 (5)
14Hideka KoshimizuJPN4:59.18 (5 h1)4:58.02 (6)
15Gail JonsonNZL4:59.92 (6 h3)4:58.40 (7)
16Anca PătrășcoiuROU5:03.97 (5 h2)5:05.53 (8)
17Monika BayerAUT5:05.61 (6 h2)
18Karin BrandesPER5:11.92 (7 h2)
DNSBeda LeirvaagNOR– (DNS h1)
DNSFaten GhattasTUN– (DNS h3)

Round One (29 July 1984 — 9:20)

Fastest eight advanced to the final. Places 9-16 advanced to the B Final.

Heat One

14Petra ZindlerFRG4:52.49Q
25Donna McGinnisCAN4:53.30Q
33Gaynor StanleyGBR4:53.70Q
46Sofia KraftSWE4:55.10q
52Hideka KoshimizuJPN4:59.18q
DNS7Beda LeirvaagNOR

Heat Two

14Sue HeonUSA4:51.32Q
23Nathalie GingrasCAN4:51.77Q
35Kathrine BomstadNOR4:52.74Q
42Sonja HausladenAUT4:58.68q
56Anca PătrășcoiuROU5:03.97q
67Monika BayerAUT5:05.61
71Karin BrandesPER5:11.92

Heat Three

14Tracy CaulkinsUSA4:44.42Q
25Suzie LandellsAUS4:54.13Q
36Roberta FelottiITA4:54.14q
47Karen PhillipsAUS4:54.28q
53Sarah HardcastleGBR4:55.78q
62Gail JonsonNZL4:59.92q
DNS1Faten GhattasTUN

B Final (29 July 1984 — 16:45)

16Sarah HardcastleGBR4:51.55
23Sofia KraftSWE4:53.25
35Karen PhillipsAUS4:53.37
44Roberta FelottiITA4:57.74
52Sonja HausladenAUT4:57.78
67Hideka KoshimizuJPN4:58.02
71Gail JonsonNZL4:58.40
88Anca PătrășcoiuROU5:05.53

Final (29 July 1984 — 16:35)

14Tracy CaulkinsUSA4:39.24
28Suzie LandellsAUS4:48.30
36Petra ZindlerFRG4:48.57
45Sue HeonUSA4:49.41
53Nathalie GingrasCAN4:50.55
67Donna McGinnisCAN4:50.65
71Gaynor StanleyGBR4:52.83
82Kathrine BomstadNOR4:53.28