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Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 31, 1972
Date Finished: August 31, 1972

Gold: USA United States
Silver: FRG West Germany
Bronze: URS Soviet Union

Summary

The United States was considered unbeatable, as Mark Spitz was looking to win his fifth gold medal in Munich. One hour before the final he had won gold in the 100 butterfly. The US sent out there B team for the prelims, but they still posted the fastest qualifier by 2.61 seconds over Australia. The opening leg of the final was a shocker, however, as Soviet swimmer Igor Grivennikov led American [John Kinsella] by half a bodylength. On the second leg, Fred Tyler gave the Americans a bodylength lead over West Germany at 400 metres, the Soviets dropping back. But Steve Genter then put the race away with a 1:52.78 split to give Spitz a big lead for the anchor. Spitz came home in a somewhat pedestrian 1:54.24 but it was good enough for the gold medal, a world record 7:35.78, and nearly a six-second margin over the West Germans. The USSR held on to win the bronze medal.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold WR
2 West Germany FRG Silver
3 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Sweden SWE
5 Australia AUS
6 East Germany GDR
7 Canada CAN
8 Great Britain GBR
4 h1 r1/2 Netherlands NED
5 h1 r1/2 Mexico MEX
6 h1 r1/2 Brazil BRA
6 h2 r1/2 France FRA
7 h1 r1/2 Philippines PHI
7 h2 r1/2 Italy ITA