| Event type

400 metres Individual Medley, Women

Date31 August 1972
LocationSchwimmhalle, Olympiapark, München
Participants38 from 24 countries

The world record was still held by Claudia Kolb, the 1968 gold medalist who had won this event in 1968. The 1970 European Champion was East Germany’s Evelyn Stolze, and she made the final, but there was no clear favorite. The final saw Australia’s unheralded Gail Neall, silver medalist from the 1970 Commonwealth Games, take the lead on the butterfly opener. She maintained that lead for 7 laps until Canada’s Leslie Cliff, the 1971 Pan American champion, took over briefly. But Neall fought back and won the gold medal in world record time, with 5:02.97. Cliff held on for silver over Italy’s Novella Calligaris, as all three medalists finished inside Kolb’s previous world mark. Stolze placed fifth, behind American Jenny Bartz.

1Gail NeallAUS5:11.89 (1 h1)5:02.97 (1)Gold
2Leslie CliffCAN5:08.64 (1 h5)5:03.57 (2)Silver
3Novella CalligarisITA5:11.16 (2 h3)5:03.99 (3)Bronze
4Jenny BartzUSA5:07.31 (2 h4)5:05.56 (4)
5Evelyn StolzeGDR5:06.96 (1 h4)5:06.80 (5)
6Mary MontgomeryUSA5:13.62 (2 h5)5:09.98 (6)
7Lynn VidaliUSA5:09.67 (1 h3)5:13.06 (7)
8Nina PetrovaURS5:13.42 (3 h4)5:15.68 (8)
9Susan HunterNZL5:14.47 (2 h1)
10Angela FrankeGDR5:14.81 (3 h5)
11Hennie PentermanNED5:14.99 (1 h2)
12Anita ZarnowieckiSWE5:15.05 (4 h5)
13Marlis PohlGDR5:15.38 (2 h2)
14Jaroslava SlavíčkováTCH5:18.53 (3 h1)
15Susan RichardsonGBR5:19.53 (5 h5)
16Birutė UžkuraitytėURS5:20.05 (4 h1)
17Jennifer McHughCAN5:20.25 (3 h2)
18Yukari TakemotoJPN5:20.89 (4 h4)
19Debbie BengtsonCAN5:21.62 (4 h2)
20Helga NiemannFRG5:21.97 (5 h1)
21Gerda LassooijNED5:22.09 (3 h3)
22Eva SiggFIN5:22.92 (5 h2)
23Wijda MazereeuwNED5:24.00 (5 h4)
24Karen MorasAUS5:24.13 (6 h2)
25Shelagh RatcliffeGBR5:24.27 (6 h1)
26Maria Isabel GuerraBRA5:24.43 (4 h3)
27Laura VacaMEX5:24.63 (6 h4)
28Trine KroghNOR5:25.08 (5 h3)
29Susanne NiesnerSUI5:25.23 (6 h5)
30Kirsten CampbellDEN5:25.97 (7 h2)
31Diane WalkerGBR5:28.82 (6 h3)
32Gisela CerezoVEN5:29.56 (7 h5)
33María BallesterosMEX5:31.06 (8 h5)
34Helmi BoxbergerFRG5:32.31 (7 h1)
35Eleni AvlonitouGRE5:32.49 (7 h3)
36Béatrice MottoulleBEL5:35.38 (8 h3)
37Roselina ÁngelCOL5:35.44 (7 h4)
38Silvia BorginiARG5:44.22 (8 h1)
DNSMireille BassoulLBN– (DNS h2)
DNSHsu Yue-YunTPE– (DNS h4)

Round One (31 August 1972 — 10:50)

Fastest eight advanced to the final.

Heat One

1Gail NeallAUS5:11.89Q
2Susan HunterNZL5:14.47
3Jaroslava SlavíčkováTCH5:18.53
4Birutė UžkuraitytėURS5:20.05
5Helga NiemannFRG5:21.97
6Shelagh RatcliffeGBR5:24.27
7Helmi BoxbergerFRG5:32.31
8Silvia BorginiARG5:44.22

Heat Two

1Hennie PentermanNED5:14.99
2Marlis PohlGDR5:15.38
3Jennifer McHughCAN5:20.25
4Debbie BengtsonCAN5:21.62
5Eva SiggFIN5:22.92
6Karen MorasAUS5:24.13
7Kirsten CampbellDEN5:25.97
DNSMireille BassoulLBN

Heat Three

1Lynn VidaliUSA5:09.67Q
2Novella CalligarisITA5:11.16Q
3Gerda LassooijNED5:22.09
4Maria Isabel GuerraBRA5:24.43
5Trine KroghNOR5:25.08
6Diane WalkerGBR5:28.82
7Eleni AvlonitouGRE5:32.49
8Béatrice MottoulleBEL5:35.38

Heat Four

1Evelyn StolzeGDR5:06.96QOR
2Jenny BartzUSA5:07.31Q
3Nina PetrovaURS5:13.42Q
4Yukari TakemotoJPN5:20.89
5Wijda MazereeuwNED5:24.00
6Laura VacaMEX5:24.63
7Roselina ÁngelCOL5:35.44

Heat Five

1Leslie CliffCAN5:08.64Q
2Mary MontgomeryUSA5:13.62Q
3Angela FrankeGDR5:14.81
4Anita ZarnowieckiSWE5:15.05
5Susan RichardsonGBR5:19.53
6Susanne NiesnerSUI5:25.23
7Gisela CerezoVEN5:29.56
8María BallesterosMEX5:31.06

Final (31 August 1972 — 18:00)

17Gail NeallAUS5:02.97WR
23Leslie CliffCAN5:03.57
32Novella CalligarisITA5:03.99
45Jenny BartzUSA5:05.56
54Evelyn StolzeGDR5:06.80
68Mary MontgomeryUSA5:09.98
76Lynn VidaliUSA5:13.06
81Nina PetrovaURS5:15.68