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Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Women's 400 metres Freestyle

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Events:

Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Swimming Hall, Olympic Park, München
Date Started: August 30, 1972
Date Finished: August 30, 1972

Gold: AUS Shane Gould
Silver: ITA Novella Calligaris
Bronze: GDR Gudrun Wegner

Summary

[Shane Gould] was favored, as she was in every freestyle event in Munich. She held the world record, set at a meet in Santa Clara, California in July 1971. But she had lost the 100 free final the day before, and was considered slightly vulnerable. But it was not to be, as Gould took the lead comfortably on the first lap, and simply kept pulling ahead. She eventually won by over three seconds, at least 10 metres of open water between Gould and silver medalist [Novella Calligaris] of Italy, which was the first ever Olympic medal for Italy by a female swimmer. Trailing in third was East German [Gudrun Wegner], who held off a fast-closing [Shirley Babashoff] (USA).

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