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Swimming at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 21, 1976
Date Finished: July 21, 1976

Gold: USA United States
Silver: URS Soviet Union
Bronze: GBR Great Britain

Summary

This was the only men’s freestyle relay in Montréal as the 4 x 100 had been removed from the program in an effort to decrease the number of swimming events. The Americans had swept the 200 metre freestyle medals two days before this final and were overwhelming favorites. The world record coming in was 7:30.54, set by a US team from the Long Beach Swim Club. But that did not survive the first round. The United States’ team of Doug Northway, Tim Shaw, Mike Bruner, and Bruce Furniss recorded 7:30.33 in the third heat to better the world record, although Shaw and Northway would not even make the US team for the final. The time was almost three seconds better than the Soviet Union’s time in heat two. The final was a laughable win for the US, led by Bruner and the three 200 medalists – Bruce Furniss, John Naber, and Jim Montgomery. The Soviets would finish second in a time of 7:27.97, far below the American world record from the heats, but they were a full 4.75 seconds in arrears at the finish.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold WR
2 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Great Britain GBR Bronze
4 West Germany FRG
5 East Germany GDR
6 Netherlands NED
7 Sweden SWE
8 Italy ITA
3 h2 r1/2 Australia AUS
4 h1 r1/2 Norway NOR
4 h2 r1/2 Bulgaria BUL
4 h3 r1/2 Spain ESP
5 h1 r1/2 France FRA
5 h2 r1/2 Portugal POR
5 h3 r1/2 Mexico MEX
6 h1 r1/2 Puerto Rico PUR
6 h3 r1/2 Venezuela VEN
AC h3 r1/2 Canada CAN DQ