Flash! US Women Break the Oldest World Record in the Book, the 800 Freestyle Relay

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, August 18. THE US women's 800 freestyle relay team broke the oldest record in the book – set 17-year ago to this day by the German Democratic Republic – when they clocked 7:53.42, slashing 2.05 seconds off the old, drug-tainted mark.

It was Natalie Coughlin who splashed a huge PR in her leadoff swim of 1:57.74 – faster than the winning time in the individual race last night – setting the team up for an all-the-way win.

Coughlin, whose 200 time makes her the second fastest American all-time, had swum in the semifinal of the 100 free earlier in the evening. Even more remarkably, Kaitlin Sandeno stepped up to the plate and, allowing for the flying start, swam the fastest 200 free of her life having just completed a grueling 200 fly final only 30-minutes earlier.

The individual splits were:
Natalie Coughlin 1:57.74
Carly Piper 1:59.39
Dana Vollmer 1:58.12
Kaitlin Sandeno 1:58.17

As was suggested in the preview, World Championships bronze medalists China were the surprise packet, setting a new Asian record in 7:55.97.
Germany finally came good for a medal at these Games holding the Aussies off for the bronze in 7:57.35.

The Aussies broke their national record to finish just 0.05 of a second adrift of the third spot.

It was interesting to note that Dana Vollmer was not born when this record was set. When asked did she realise the significance of breaking the record and its part in the history swimming, she simply said, "no, not at all, all I know is we broke a world record tonight and the team won a gold medal." Perhaps she's right and we should now move on…

Women 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Finals

Record Splits NOC Location Date
WR 7:55.47
59.02
4:57.76
2:00.23
5:57.86
2:58.42
6:55.43
3:59.13
GDR Strasbourg (FRA) 18 AUG 1987
OR 7:57.80 28.21
4:27.09 58.78
4:56.86 1:29.65
5:27.72 1:59.92
5:58.45 2:27.61
6:25.63 2:57.98
6:55.76 3:29.12
7:26.87 3:59.11
USA Sydney (AUS) 20 SEP 2000

Final Event No: 24

Rank Lane NOC Name R.T. 50m 100m 150m 200m Time Time
Behind
1 4 USA 7:53.42 WR
COUGHLIN Natalie 0.69 27.93 58.49 1:28.11 1:57.74 (1) 1:57.74
PIPER Carly 0.52 27.98 57.99 1:28.81 1:59.39 (1) 3:57.13
VOLLMER Dana 0.29 27.73 57.67 1:28.20 1:58.12 (1) 5:55.25
SANDENO Kaitlin 0.43 27.72 57.31 1:27.62 1:58.17 (1) 7:53.42

2 7 CHN 7:55.97 2.55 AS
ZHU Yingwen 0.79 27.96 58.15 1:29.41 1:59.75 (4) 1:59.75
XU Yanwei 0.28 26.97 57.03 1:27.82 1:58.45 (2) 3:58.20
YANG Yu 0.18 27.11 57.39 1:28.26 1:59.50 (2) 5:57.70
PANG Jiaying 0.26 27.55 57.39 1:27.75 1:58.27 (2) 7:55.97

3 6 GER 7:57.35 3.93
van ALMSICK Franziska 0.83 27.66 57.63 1:28.70 1:59.61 (3) 1:59.61
DALLMANN Petra 0.34 27.90 58.69 1:29.62 2:00.06 (4) 3:59.67
BUSCHSCHULTE Antje 0.28 26.40 55.70 1:26.71 1:58.46 (3) 5:58.13
STOCKBAUER Hannah 0.22 27.81 58.39 1:29.33 1:59.22 (3) 7:57.35

4 3 AUS 7:57.40 3.98 OC
MILLS Alice 0.75 27.87 58.19 1:29.52 2:00.38 (7) 2:00.38
GRAHAM Elka 0.45 27.76 58.12 1:28.78 1:59.18 (3) 3:59.56
REESE Shayne 0.33 28.22 59.97 1:30.64 2:00.64 (4) 6:00.20
THOMAS Petria 0.24 27.22 57.03 1:27.36 1:57.20 (4) 7:57.40

5 5 GBR 7:59.11 5.69
MARSHALL Melanie 0.72 27.81 57.94 1:28.62 1:59.39 (2) 1:59.39
LEE Georgina 0.17 27.92 58.08 1:29.47 2:00.50 (5) 3:59.89
McCLATCHEY Caitlin 0.18 28.52 58.99 1:30.04 2:00.48 (5) 6:00.37
PICKERING Karen 0.18 27.32 57.17 1:27.80 1:58.74 (5) 7:59.11

6 2 ESP 8:02.11 8.69
ROUBA Tatiana 0.84 28.00 58.29 1:29.38 2:00.18 (6) 2:00.18
CABALLERO Melissa 0.32 28.05 58.55 1:29.64 2:00.57 (6) 4:00.75
RAMOS Arantxa 0.38 28.87 59.65 1:31.09 2:02.32 (6) 6:03.07
VILLAECIJA Erika 0.10 27.54 57.77 1:28.92 1:59.04 (6) 8:02.11

7 1 BRA 8:05.29 11.87
MELO Joanna 0.73 28.86 59.30 1:30.20 2:01.20 (8) 2:01.20
FERREIRA Monique 0.19 28.11 58.77 1:30.21 2:01.42 (8) 4:02.62
BROCHADO Mariana 0.26 27.97 58.66 1:30.13 2:01.15 (7) 6:03.77
RIBEIRO Paula 0.31 28.32 59.15 1:30.31 2:01.52 (7) 8:05.29

8 8 SWE 8:08.34 14.92
LILLHAGE Josefin 0.83 28.14 58.34 1:29.29 1:59.86 (5) 1:59.86
MATTSSON Ida 0.26 27.93 58.52 1:30.03 2:01.45 (7) 4:01.31
SVAHNSTROM Malin 0.30 28.21 59.82 1:31.88 2:03.68 (8) 6:04.99
WANBERG Lotta 0.47 28.83 1:00.00 1:31.64 2:03.35 (8) 8:08.34

takes a drink after winning 100 back

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Author: Archive Team

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