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Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Women's 400 metres Freestyle

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 30, 1972
Date Finished: August 30, 1972

Gold: AUS Shane Gould
Silver: ITA Novella Calligaris
Bronze: GDR Gudrun Wegner


[Shane Gould] was favored, as she was in every freestyle event in Munich. She held the world record, set at a meet in Santa Clara, California in July 1971. But she had lost the 100 free final the day before, and was considered slightly vulnerable. But it was not to be, as Gould took the lead comfortably on the first lap, and simply kept pulling ahead. She eventually won by over three seconds, at least 10 metres of open water between Gould and silver medalist [Novella Calligaris] of Italy, which was the first ever Olympic medal for Italy by a female swimmer. Trailing in third was East German [Gudrun Wegner], who held off a fast-closing [Shirley Babashoff] (USA).

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Shane Gould 15 Australia AUS Gold WR
2 Novella Calligaris 17 Italy ITA Silver
3 Gudrun Wegner 17 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Shirley Babashoff 15 United States USA
5 Jenny Wylie 15 United States USA
6 Keena Rothhammer 15 United States USA
7 Hansje Bunschoten 14 Netherlands NED
8 Anke Rijnders 16 Netherlands NED
2 h2 r1/2 Karen Moras 18 Australia AUS
3 h1 r1/2 Karin Tülling 17 East Germany GDR
3 h2 r1/2 Mary Beth Rondeau 15 Canada CAN
3 h3 r1/2 Uta Schütz 17 West Germany FRG
4 h1 r1/2 Federica Stabilini 14 Italy ITA
4 h2 r1/2 Anne Marie McCaffrey 17 Canada CAN
4 h3 r1/2 Narelle Moras 16 Australia AUS
4 h4 r1/2 Olga de Angulo 16 Colombia COL
5 h1 r1/2 María Teresa Ramírez 18 Mexico MEX
5 h2 r1/2 Roselina Angee 14 Colombia COL
5 h3 r1/2 Susan Edmondson 16 Great Britain GBR
5 h4 r1/2 Jaynie Parkhouse 16 New Zealand NZL
6 h1 r1/2 Helga Wagner 16 West Germany FRG
6 h2 r1/2 Belinda Phillips 13 Jamaica JAM
6 h3 r1/2 Ileana Morales 15 Venezuela VEN
6 h4 r1/2 June Green 13 Great Britain GBR
7 h1 r1/2 Kirsten Knudsen 19 Denmark DEN
7 h2 r1/2 Hsu Yue-Yun 14 Chinese Taipei TPE
7 h3 r1/2 Diana Sutherland 17 Great Britain GBR
7 h4 r1/2 Eleni Avlonitou 13 Greece GRE
8 h4 r1/2 Patricia López 16 Argentina ARG