| Event type

400 metres Freestyle, Women

Date22 September 1988
LocationSu-yeong-jang, Ol-lim-pik Gong-won, Seoul
Participants30 from 21 countries

Heike Friedrich (GDR) came into Seoul having won the last two European titles and was 1986 World Champion in the 400 free. The day before this final, she had won gold in the 200 free. But she had a big challenger in American Janet Evans, who at the US Open in December 1987 had set the world record of 4:05.45. Evans also had a gold medal in Seoul, winning the 400 IM on the opening day of the meet. In the final, Evans led at 100 in 59.99, which was expected as Friedrich was known more for her finish. At 300 metres it was very close, Evans still leading, but only by 0.16 seconds. But she then blazed home in 1:00.45, negative splitting the race to shatter her world record with 4:03.85, and defeating Friedrich by almost two seconds on the final laps. Two days later, Evans would add a third individual gold medal, winning the 800 freestyle. Her world record from this event would stand for 18 years, until it was bettered by Laure Manaudou at the 2006 French Championships, and the mark would not be bettered at the Olympics until Britain’s Becky Adlington won gold at the 2008 Olympics.

PosSwimmerNOCR1B FinalFinal
1Janet EvansUSA4:10.12 (1 h4)4:03.85 (1)Gold
2Heike FriedrichGDR4:11.30 (1 h3)4:05.94 (2)Silver
3Anke MöhringGDR4:10.64 (1 h2)4:06.62 (3)Bronze
4Tami BruceUSA4:10.73 (2 h4)4:08.16 (4)
5Janelle ElfordAUS4:11.07 (2 h2)4:10.64 (5)
6Isabelle ArnouldBEL4:11.71 (3 h4)4:11.73 (6)
7Stephanie OrtwigFRG4:12.18 (4 h4)4:13.05 (7)
8Nataliya TrefilovaURS4:12.20 (3 h2)4:13.92 (8)
9Sheridan Burge-LopezAUS4:12.77 (3 h3)4:10.21 (1)
10Noëmi LungROU4:12.42 (2 h3)4:11.68 (2)
11Stela Marian PuraROU4:15.78 (5 h4)4:12.14 (3)
12Antoaneta StrumenlievaBUL4:13.25 (4 h2)4:13.43 (4)
13Patricia NoallCAN4:15.90 (6 h4)4:14.70 (5)
14Manuela MelchiorriITA4:15.40 (4 h3)4:14.90 (6)
15Chikako NakamoriJPN4:15.51 (1 h1)4:15.59 (7)
16Cécile PrunierFRA4:15.63 (5 h3)4:21.03 (8)
17Irene DalbyNOR4:16.22 (6 h3)
18Ruth GilfillanGBR4:16.66 (7 h4)
19Tomomi HosodaJPN4:17.30 (5 h2)
20Eva MortensenDEN4:18.06 (7 h3)
21Yan MingCHN4:18.58 (8 h3)
22Alexandra RussFRG4:18.67 (8 h4)
23Nurul Huda AbdullahMAS4:19.33 (2 h1)
24Patrícia AmorimBRA4:19.64 (3 h1)
25Christelle JanssensBEL4:19.96 (6 h2)
26Pernille JensenDEN4:20.96 (4 h1)
27June CroftGBR4:21.98 (7 h2)
28Rita GarayPUR4:24.84 (5 h1)
29Judit CsabaiHUN4:25.52 (8 h2)
30Senda GharbiTUN4:34.67 (6 h1)

Round One (22 September 1988 — 10:00)

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

Heat One

15Chikako NakamoriJPN4:15.51q
24Nurul Huda AbdullahMAS4:19.33
36Patrícia AmorimBRA4:19.64
43Pernille JensenDEN4:20.96
52Rita GarayPUR4:24.84
67Senda GharbiTUN4:34.67

Heat Two

14Anke MöhringGDR4:10.64Q
25Janelle ElfordAUS4:11.07Q
33Nataliya TrefilovaURS4:12.20Q
46Antoaneta StrumenlievaBUL4:13.25q
52Tomomi HosodaJPN4:17.30
68Christelle JanssensBEL4:19.96
71June CroftGBR4:21.98
87Judit CsabaiHUN4:25.52

Heat Three

14Heike FriedrichGDR4:11.30Q
23Noëmi LungROU4:12.42q
35Sheridan Burge-LopezAUS4:12.77q
41Manuela MelchiorriITA4:15.40q
56Cécile PrunierFRA4:15.63q
62Irene DalbyNOR4:16.22
78Eva MortensenDEN4:18.06
87Yan MingCHN4:18.58

Heat Four

14Janet EvansUSA4:10.12Q
25Tami BruceUSA4:10.73Q
31Isabelle ArnouldBEL4:11.71Q
46Stephanie OrtwigFRG4:12.18Q
53Stela Marian PuraROU4:15.78q
62Patricia NoallCAN4:15.90q
78Ruth GilfillanGBR4:16.66
87Alexandra RussFRG4:18.67

B Final (22 September 1988 — 20:00)

15Sheridan Burge-LopezAUS4:10.21
24Noëmi LungROU4:11.68
31Stela Marian PuraROU4:12.14
43Antoaneta StrumenlievaBUL4:13.43
58Patricia NoallCAN4:14.70
66Manuela MelchiorriITA4:14.90
72Chikako NakamoriJPN4:15.59
87Cécile PrunierFRA4:21.03

Final (22 September 1988 — 20:00)

14Janet EvansUSA4:03.85WR
22Heike FriedrichGDR4:05.94
35Anke MöhringGDR4:06.62
43Tami BruceUSA4:08.16
56Janelle ElfordAUS4:10.64
67Isabelle ArnouldBEL4:11.73
71Stephanie OrtwigFRG4:13.05
88Nataliya TrefilovaURS4:13.92