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Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay

Swimming at the 1972 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


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


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