A comparison of the results of the U.S. National Swimming Championships and the swimming finals in Moscow shows the United States would have maintained its supremacy in the pool but not by the margin it once enjoyed.
In the men's events the main competition would have been from the Soviet Union, which when matched against U.S. times from the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex here, would have won four golds, two silvers and three bronzes. The U.S. meanwhile, would have grabbed six golds, eight silvers and two bronzes in the mythical confrontation.
Vladimir Salnikov would have kept his world record in the 1,500 (14:58.27) and the gold in the 400. But if the world record time of Peter Szmidt of Canada in the 400 (3:50.49) was taken into account, Salnikov would have been second.
The U.S. women would have fared much better against the East German women than they did in 1976 when they won but one gold medal, and that in a relay. The U.S. women would have won four gold, four silver and two bronzes, while the East Germans would have taken home six golds, five silvers and six bronzes.
Mary T. Meagher and Kim Linehan each would have won two individual golds -- Meagher in the 100 and 200 butterfly and Linehan in the 400 and 800 freestyle events.
For the men the winners looked like Rowdy Gaines in the 100 and 200 freestyle, Craig Beardsley in the 200 butterfly, William Paulus in the 100 butterfly, Jesse Vassallo in the 400 individual medley, Steve Lindquist in the 100 breaststroke and Steve Barnicoat in the 200 backstroke.
This performance would have to be considered a conservative estimation as to how well the U.S. would have performed in Moscow.
The medal count between the three swimming countries would show the U.S. with 26 medals, East Germany with 18 and the Soviet Union with 13.
Many of the swimmers here, while complimenting the organization of the meet and the attempts of the officials to try and make the atmosphere somewhat Olympian, said the plan didn't come off.