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BARCELONA, Spain, August 1. CHINA put up a strong foursome this morning to secure the top seed heading into the finale of the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay.
The quartet of Ye Shiwen (1:57.43), Shao Yiwen (1:57.69), Guo Junjun (1:58.26) and Zhang Wenqing (1:59.12) combined for a top time of 7:52.50 as the Chinese are looking to reclaim their 2009 title after falling to bronze in 2011 behind the U.S. and Australia.
Australia, meanwhile, is looking for a breakthrough as the country has never won the world title in this event before. Brittany Elmslie (1:57.70), Emma McKeon (1:58.24), Ami Matsuo (1:58.61) and Alicia Coutts (1:58.14) posted a second place time of 7:52.69 to put the Aussies in the middle of the action in the finale.
Team USA, which was already resting at least three of its A team legs in Missy Franklin, Shannon Vreeland and Katie Ledecky, finished third in 7:53.03 by way of Chelsea Chenault (1:58.95) Karlee Bispo (1:57.74), Maya DiRado (1:58.48) and Jordan Mattern (1:57.86). One of those four will likely pull finals duty barring the U.S. staff calling an audible and putting relay stalwart Megan Romano on the squad as well.
Spain (7:54.90), France (7:56.38), Canada (7:56.64), Japan (7:56.86) and Italy (7:57.41) earned the other spots in the championship finale.