Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London; London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Date Started: August 3, 2012
Date Finished: August 4, 2012
This event ended the 2012 Olympic women's swimming program in the pool. The United States was favored as they had medalists from the individual 100 metre events in the backstroke in Missy Franklin, breaststroke in Rebecca Soni, and the butterfly with Dana Vollmer, with Franklin and Vollmer having won gold. Franklin put the USA into the lead early, and she, Soni, and Vollmer posted the fastest splits for each of their strokes, giving Schmitt a comfortable lead for the freestyle finisher. Schmitt brought it home in 53.25 to give the US a gold medal and a world record 3:52.05, bettering the Chinese mark from the 2009 World Championships, set in skinsuits. Behind the US Australia took silver with Japan winning bronze.
For Schmitt and Franklin it was the end of a highly successful Olympics, as they won the most medals by any of the women in London with five. Franklin won four gold medals and Schmitt three, with Franklin's four swimming gold medals at one Olympics trailing only the six won in 1988 by East German Kristin Otto. Vollmer also finished London 2012 with three gold medals, in the 100 fly and two relays, while Soni won three medals and two golds, finishing her Olympic career with six medals and three golds.