United States produced an Olympic-record time to win gold in the
women's 200m freestyle relay final.
A brilliant final leg from Allison Schmitt led the Americans home, ahead of Australia, in a time of seven minutes 42.92 seconds.
Missy Franklin gave them a great start, while Dana Vollmer and Shannon Vreeland also produced fast times.
"An Olympic record for the Americans. They were just 0.7secs or 0.8secs off the world record and Schmitt had the swim of her life. It was a very creditable performance by Great Britain. It was very difficult to see beyond the Americans and Australians, but they gave a performance that is a credit to them."
France won the bronze medal, while Great Britain finished fifth in a time of 7:52.37.
Australians Bronte Barratt, Melanie Schlanger and Kylie Palmer had given their anchor leg, Alicia Coutts, a sizeable lead at the turn.
who won gold in the 200m freestyle,
silver in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 100m freestyle relay, had too much strength and speed.
It was, however, a brave swim from Great Britain's Caitlin McClatchey, Rebecca Turner, Hannah Miley and Joanne Jackson, who finished ahead of China, Italy and Japan.
Camille Muffat, Charlotte Bonnet, Ophelie-Cyrielle Etienne and Coralie Balmy came third for France, but they were never in contention for gold against two very strong teams from Australia and the USA.
Final results by Country
View full results for Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Franklin, Vollmer, Vreeland, Schmitt, Perdue, Anderson
Barratt, Schlanger, Palmer, Coutts, Elmslie, Bainbridge, Neilsen, Evans
Australian Olympic Team
Muffat, Bonnet, Etienne, Balmy, Farrell, Lazare