Tokyo Olympics: Australian women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team earn bronze after upset
Ariarne Titmus fell narrowly short of adding a third gold medal to her Tokyo haul, with China producing a boilover against the fancied Australians in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Titmus combined with Emma McKeon, Madi Wilson and Leah Neale to earn bronze, with the Chinese first and a Katie Ledecky-led US snaring silver.
All three nations went under world record time.
It will also lead to a bronze medal for WA’s Brianna Throssell and Tamsin Cook, after the duo combined with Mollie O’Callaghan and Meg Harris in last night’s qualifiers to help set up the success.
Titmus led off and had Australia neck-and-neck with China after the first 200m, with McKeon and Wilson holding pace to keep things even ahead of the final 200m.
Neale then couldn’t hold off US star Ledecky, but it was China who overcame both powerhouse swimming nations to complete the wire-to-wire victory in a stunning upset.
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“I would have liked to have done a bit more for the team,” Titmus said after the race.
“I should have been better.
“But it’s been a big couple of days, so I’m happy to come away on the podium.”
Neale appeared emotional after exiting the pool and was embraced by teammates as the Aussies absorbed the result.
It came after Australia’s 4x100m freestyle team produced a stirring victory earlier in the week to make it three consecutive Olympics of gold medals in that event.
Earlier in the morning, Zac Stubblety-Cook added to Australia’s success in the pool with a thundering finish to claim gold in the 200m breaststroke final.
And sprinter Kyle Chalmers was pipped at the post by US gun Caeleb Dressel by just 0.06sec in the men’s 100m freestyle final.
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