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Swimming at the 2004 Athina Summer Games:

Women's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay

Swimming at the 2004 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Olympic Aquatic Centre, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Athina
Date Started: August 18, 2004
Date Finished: August 18, 2004

Gold: USA United States
Silver: CHN China
Bronze: GER Germany
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Summary

On 18 August 1987 a foursome from the German Democratic Republic set a world record for the longer of the two women's freestyle relays at the European Swimming Championships in Strasbourg, France. It stood largely unchallenged for exactly 17 years, almost to the hour, until a USA quartet of Natalie Coughlin, Carly Piper, Dana Vollmer, and Kaitlin Sandeno took it apart in the process of winning Olympic gold in Athens.

As a race, the final was decided on the first leg where Coughlin took a 1½ second lead so the interest shifted to the question of how fast the Americans could swim and whether the final world record held by the East Germans would be deleted from the record books. The answer was in the affirmative as more than two seconds were sliced off the time of the GDR quartet. China were runners-up with Germany holding off a fast finishing Australia for bronze.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold
2 China CHN Silver
3 Germany GER Bronze
4 Australia AUS
5 Great Britain GBR
6 Spain ESP
7 Brazil BRA
8 Sweden SWE
9 Netherlands NED
10 France FRA
11 Romania ROU
12 Switzerland SUI
13 New Zealand NZL
14 Italy ITA
15 Greece GRE
16 Slovenia SLO