Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 12, 2008
Date Finished: August 13, 2008
Realistically the question was not which team would win this race but what would be the winning margin of the American team and how much time would they shave off the world record? Michael Phelps started the record chase by posting the second fastest time in history on the opening leg of the final and then cheered on teammates Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens, and Peter Vanderkaay as the American smashed through the seven-minute barrier and finished in 6:58.56, fully five seconds inside the record set at the 2007 World Championships, and winning by over five seconds. Behind the US team, Canada, Australia and Russia took turns in second place before the Russians pulled away in the closing stages. Australia held on the bronze ahead of the fast finishing Italian team. Of the four Americans who raced and won the 2004 Olympic final only Klete Keller did not swim in the final this time around although he did compete in the heats.