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Swimming at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay

Swimming at the 1976 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Pool, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 25, 1976
Date Finished: July 25, 1976

Gold: USA United States
Silver: GDR East Germany
Bronze: CAN Canada


This was the final swimming event for women in Montréal. Of the previous 12 events at the 1976 Olympics, the German Democratic Republic (GDR – East Germany) had won 11, with one won by the Soviet Union (200 metre breaststroke). The GDR were overwhelming favorites and they put out their best swimmer, [Kornelia Ender], on the opening leg to finish the race early. Ender opened a 1.16 second lead over American [Kim Peyton] and it seemed over. But [Wendy Boglioli], swimming the second leg for the US, pulled back time as did third swimmer [Jill Sterkel]. As [Claudia Hempel] (GDR) and [Shirley Babashoff] started their anchor legs, the GDR led by only .40 seconds. Babashoff had been frustrated at Montréal by her inability to defeat Ender, whom she openly accused of using drugs, accusations that would prove to be true, but not fully known until after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of East German sporting documents. But on the anchor Babashoff achieved a measure of redemption when she out-swam Hempel to give the United States its only women’s swimming gold medal in Montréal.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinalRound One

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 United States USA Gold
2 East Germany GDR Silver
3 Canada CAN Bronze
4 Netherlands NED
5 Soviet Union URS
6 France FRA
7 Sweden SWE
8 West Germany FRG
4 h2 r1/2 Australia AUS
5 h2 r1/2 Great Britain GBR
6 h1 r1/2 Belgium BEL
6 h2 r1/2 Argentina ARG
7 h1 r1/2 Venezuela VEN
7 h2 r1/2 Puerto Rico PUR