Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Olympic Swimming Stadium, Roma
Date Started: August 30, 1960
Date Finished: September 2, 1960
This event was new to the Olympic Program in 1960. Between 1956 and 1960 Dutch teams had set three world records, but the heavy favorites in Rome were the United States, led by Chris von Saltza , swimming freestyle, and Lynn Burke and Carolyn Schuler, winners of gold in the backstroke and butterfly in Rome. A USA team had set the current world record of 4:44.6 at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago. In the end they won Olympic gold easily, breaking the world record with 4:41.1, after Burke started the team off with a 100 metre backstroke world record of 1:09.0. Burke and von Saltza were best friends who trained together under coach George Haines. Australia placed second with Germany third, and the Dutch women trailing in fourth.