Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: July 30, 2012
Date Finished: July 31, 2012
The defending gold medalist and World Champion was Italy's Federica Pellegrini but the favorite was American Allison Schmitt, who had starred at the US Olympic Trials in June. They were expected to be challenged by Schmitt's teammate, Missy Franklin, who was swimming an ambitious seven-event schedule in London. Franklin started the final fast, passing 50 metres under the world record split, but she could not hold that and Schmitt moved ahead by 100 metres. She continued to open up, winning the gold medal by almost two seconds over France's Camille Muffat, bronze medalist in the 200 and 400 frees at the 2011 Worlds, and earlier the gold medalist in London in the 400 free. Australian Bronte Barratt, better known for her efforts in relays, won the bronze medal, beating Franklin by only 1/100th of a second. Pellegrini was never a factor for the medals and placed fifth.
This was Schmitt's third medal of the London Olympics, after a silver in the 400 free behind Muffat and a bronze in the 4×100 free relay. She had also won a bronze in 2008 as part of the 4×200 relay. She would finish London 2012 with five medals and three golds, later adding gold medals in the medley relay and the 4×200.
|1||Allison Schmitt||22||United States||USA||Gold|
|4||Missy Franklin||17||United States||USA|
|7||Caitlin McClatchey||26||Great Britain||GBR|
|17||Rebecca Turner||19||Great Britain||GBR|
|20||Karin Prinsloo||22||South Africa||RSA|
|23||Sze Hang Yu||24||Hong Kong||HKG|
|33||Baek Il-Ju||26||South Korea||KOR|