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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay

Swimming at the 1996 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 23, 1996
Date Finished: July 23, 1996

Gold: USA United States
Silver: RUS Russia
Bronze: GER Germany

Summary

Every time this event had been held at the Olympic Games the US team had won gold and all but once they had done so in world record time. Added to the fact that America were also the current world champions this suggested that a US victory was one of the biggest certainties of the entire Games.

At the first changeover in the final the USA were out of the medals in fourth and, although over the next two legs they improved, they were still trailing Russia and Germany and a shock defeat appeared likely.

However the two European nations had top loaded their best swimmers whilst the American trump card Gary Hall, Jr. was to swim the anchor leg for the home team. Hall took two seconds off his main rivals and vaulted his team to a clear victory. Their only disappointment was that they failed, by a third of a second, to break the world record.

For Hall this was the first gold medal of the five he won during his career and meant that he followed his father, also Gary Hall, as an Olympic champion.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold
2 Russia RUS Silver
3 Germany GER Bronze
4 Brazil BRA
5 Netherlands NED
6 Australia AUS
7 Sweden SWE
8 Great Britain GBR
9 New Zealand NZL
10 Romania ROU
11 France FRA
12 Finland FIN
13 Venezuela VEN
14 Croatia CRO
15 Ecuador ECU
16 Puerto Rico PUR
17 Uzbekistan UZB
18 Kyrgyzstan KGZ
AC r1/2 Kazakhstan KAZ DQ