| London: Camille Muffat of France held off a strong challenge from Allison Schmitt to win the Olympic 400 metres women`s freestyle gold Sunday.
Muffat, a 2011 world bronze medallist, managed to fend off the American in the final 50 metres to win in 4 minutes, 1.45 seconds, an Olympic record.
"I`m relieved and happy," Moffat said. "I haven`t thought about all the work, I was thinking about the other swimmers and my family."
"Being an Olympic champion was the most difficult dream to reach. I knew this year I was the best, but I didn`t expect to win."
Beijing bronze medallist Schmitt was 0.34 seconds behind, with Britain`s Rebecca Adlington, 2008 gold medallist in both the 200 metres and 400 metres freestyle, claiming the bronze.
"I did not expect a medal," Adlington said. "It`s a really tough race. The only disappointment is with the time."
World record holder Frederica Pellegrini of Italy was fifth.
First Published: Monday, July 30, 2012, 13:27