In the last final of the evening session, the duel between USA and Australia turned out in favour of the North Americans, who got their fifth title in six editions, touching home in7:45.14. The winners started very strong, with Katie Ledecky swimming the first 200m in 1:56.32, but then the Australians got some advantage after the efforts of Kylie Palmer and Brittany Elmslie. USA closed the quartet with Missy Franklin, who clocked an impressive 1:54.27 to provide gold to her team.
Australia earned silver in 7:47.08, while the bronze went for France in 7:48.43. This podium was a copy of the 2012 Olympic top-3 ranking, but in London all these three teams had swum faster.
The United States clearly dominate the event since the previous edition of the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, in 2003. From then, only one title escaped to the North Americans, when the Chinese quartet was the fastest in Rome, in 2009, establishing the present World Record in the event (7:42.08). At the Palau Sant Jordi, the Asian team stayed at the podium’s door, finishing fourth in 7:49.79.
World Record: China, 7:42.08 – July 30, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Championships Record: China, 7:42.08 – July 30, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – United States (7:55.70); 2005 – United States (7:53.70); 2007 – United States (7:50.09); 2009 – China (7:42.08); 2011 – United States (7:46.14)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): United States (2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 & 2013)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. United States (7:42.92), 2. Australia (7:44.41), 3. France (7:47.49)
source : Barcelona 2013 - FINA Live Blog