Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Olympic Swim Stadium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Date Started: July 31, 1984
Date Finished: July 31, 1984
With the East German women absent because of the Soviet-led boycott, the USA women became the overwhelming favorites in the freestyle relay. In the heats the US qualified first although it saved the co-gold medalists from the 100 freestyle, Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer, for the final. They were joined by Dara Torres and Jenna Johnson. On the opening leg the Dutch team led, with Annemarie Verstappen touching in 55.94 to put them ahead. Steinseifer put the American ahead on the second leg, but it was still close and it would stay that way throughout. After three legs it was almost a dead heat, with the US 0.08 seconds ahead as Nancy Hogshead and Conny van Bentum took to the water. By the final turn van Bentum had closed the gap, but the effort cost her as Hogshead pulled away on the final lap to give the US the gold medal over the Netherlands, winning by almost a second. The American time of 3:43.43 was a US record, but missed the East German world and Olympic record of 3:42.71. Three weeks later the GDR women would better that mark with 3:42.41 at the Friendship Games in Moscow.