Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 25, 1996
Date Finished: July 25, 1996
The inaugural Olympic women's 4 x 200 metres freestyle relay competed the USA's clean sweep of women's relay titles at the Atlanta Olympics. With the world champions, China, performing well below expectations the only challenge for the Olympic title came from Germany. Franziska van Almsick threw down the gauntlet to the Americans by swimming a time superior to the gold medal swim in the individual 200 metres but her German teammates could not perform to the same standard and gradually the US lead lengthened as the race went on. The American team included Jenny Thompson, who collected her fifth Olympic relay gold, and Sheila Taormina, who swam the anchor leg. Taormina returned to the Olympic Games in 2000 and 2004 as a competitor in triathlon and amazingly made a fourth Olympics in 2008, only this time as a modern pentathlete.