Flash! World Record! Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay –Australia Passes U.S. on Final Leg

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, Greece. August 14. AUSTRALIA's women followed the lead of their men in Sydney by passing the USA on the final leg and breaking the world record in the 400 freestyle relay final of the Athens Olympics.

When Jodie Henry touched at 3:35.96, the Aussies broke Germany's 2002 record by 0.04 of a second. Henry's anchor split was the fastest all-time: a remarkable 52.95.

The youthful powerhouse of Australian women’s swimming – Lenton (19), Henry (20) and Mills (18) combined with the experience of three-time Olympian Petria Thomas (28) (see pictured) to take the women’s freestyle relay for the first time since the 1956 Olympics when the Aussies were spearheaded by legend Dawn Fraser.

The Aussies were third early on behind Buschschulte for Germany and the USA. Then it was Lenton put the Aussies in front of the Yanks with Germany slipping back to third. Amanda Weir put the USA back in the lead but then Jodie Henry unleashed the fastest relay split in history clocking an amazing 52.95 to bring the Aussies home ahead of their archrivals. Inge de Bruijn swam a very hot 53.37 to edge past Franzi van Almsick and take the bronze for the Dutch.

The Americans led by about four tenths of a second going into the last leg. Finishing for the USA was Jenny Thompson, one of the greatest relay swimmers in history. But just happened as four years ago when Ian Thorpe ran down Gary Hall, Jr., another great American relay performer, Henry was irresistable.

Thompson had the top U.S. split at 53.77, to finish out an American record 3:36.39. The Netherlands took bronze in 3:37.59.

Aussie Jodie Henry when told of her relay split after the race said, “I don’t think it matters much until the individual race.” An ominous warning perhaps!

It was Petria Thomas that that was most excited having been asked to swim the relay earlier in the day. "I was so excited to be asked to swim the final, I was a little tired from the butterfly semi-final but I didn't want to let the girls down,"she said.


Women 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Finals Final

Record Splits NOC Location Date
WR 3:36.00 54.82 1:48.77 2:42.36 3:36.00 GER Berlin (GER) 29 JUL 2002
OR 3:36.61 55.08 1:48.59 2:42.99 3:36.61 USA Sydney (AUS) 16 SEP 2000

Final Event No: 6

Rank Lane NOC Name R.T. 50m 100m Time Time
Behind
1 4 AUS 3:35.94 WR
MILLS Alice 0.76 26.35 54.75 (3) 54.75
LENTON Lisbeth 0.27 25.18 53.57 (1) 1:48.32
THOMAS Petria 0.43 26.47 54.67 (2) 2:42.99
HENRY Jodie 0.32 25.58 52.95 (1) 3:35.94

2 5 USA 3:36.39 0.45 AM
JOYCE Kara Lynn 0.73 26.69 54.74 (2) 54.74
COUGHLIN Natalie 0.28 25.73 53.83 (2) 1:48.57
WEIR Amanda 0.18 26.08 54.05 (1) 2:42.62
THOMPSON Jenny 0.18 25.92 53.77 (2) 3:36.39

3 3 NED 3:37.59 1.65
GROOT Chantal 0.81 26.64 55.45 (6) 55.45
DEKKER Inge 0.28 26.14 54.66 (5) 1:50.11
VELDHUIS Marleen 0.14 25.50 54.11 (4) 2:44.22
de BRUIJN Inge 0.28 25.21 53.37 (3) 3:37.59

4 6 GER 3:37.94 2.00
BUSCHSCHULTE Antje 0.82 26.63 54.67 (1) 54.67
DALLMANN Petra 0.26 26.10 54.79 (3) 1:49.46
GOTZ Daniela 0.25 25.90 53.99 (3) 2:43.45
van ALMSICK Franziska 0.28 26.71 54.49 (4) 3:37.94

5 1 FRA 3:40.23 4.29
FIGUES Solenne 0.85 27.08 55.36 (4) 55.36
COUDERC Celine 0.24 26.42 55.20 (6) 1:50.56
MONGEL Aurore 0.30 26.74 55.72 (7) 2:46.28
METELLA Malia 0.28 25.77 53.95 (5) 3:40.23

6 7 GBR 3:40.82 4.88
MARSHALL Melanie 0.70 26.46 55.42 (5) 55.42
EVANS Kathryn 0.19 25.93 54.33 (4) 1:49.75
PICKERING Karen 0.24 26.98 55.58 (5) 2:45.33
CHAPMAN Lisa 0.07 26.23 55.49 (6) 3:40.82

7 2 SWE 3:41.22 5.28
LILLHAGE Josefin 0.80 26.81 55.77 (7) 55.77
SJOBERG Johanna 0.09 26.11 55.90 (8) 1:51.67
ALSHAMMAR Therese 0.17 25.67 54.18 (6) 2:45.85
KAMMERLING Anna-Karin 0.14 25.68 55.37 (7) 3:41.22

8 8 CHN 3:42.90 6.96
CHENG Jiaru 0.82 26.93 56.20 (8) 56.20
XU Yanwei 0.24 26.59 55.19 (7) 1:51.39
YANG Yu 0.18 26.62 56.08 (8) 2:47.47
ZHU Yingwen 0.44 26.79 55.43 (8) 3:42.90

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Author: Archive Team

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