World Champs, Day 1 Night Session: Australia Takes Top Honors in Women's 400 Freestyle -- July 24, 2005
By John Lohn
MONTREAL, Canada, July 24. THERE was little doubt when the night started that the Australian women would be challenged in the 400 freestyle relay. Well, they did receive a bit of a tussle, but not enough to prevent a gold-medal celebration. Behind the quartet of Jodie Henry, Alice Mills, Shayne Reese and Lisbeth Lenton, the Aussies prevailed in a championship-record mark of 3:37.32.
Henry opened with a split of 54.45 and Mills followed with a leg of 53.96. While Reese only covered her 100 meters in 55.37, Lenton had an easy time holding off Germany, thanks to a split of 53.54. The Germans finished with a time of 3:38.24, made possible by balanced swims from the foursome of Petra Dallman, Antje Buschschulte, Annika Liebs and Daniela Gotz.
Leading off with Natalie Coughlin, the United States took bronze in 3:38.31. Coughlin had the fastest opening split, a 54.31, and was succeeded by Kara Lynn Joyce (55.22), Lacey Nymeyer (54.88) and Amanda Weir (53.90). The Netherlands was behind the U.S. in 3:39.37 and France notched fifth in 3:39.45. China (3:42.10), Sweden (3:42.93) and New Zealand (3:44.84) completed the field. The Netherlands’ Marleen Veldhuis had the fastest split, going 53.34.