Australia Claims Mixed Medley Relay Gold Behind Huge Anchor from Cate Campbell (RACE VIDEO)

larkin-wilson-mckeon-campbell-4x100-mixed-medley-relay-final-2019-world-championships_1
Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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World Swimming Championships (Cate Campbell)

Gwangju, Day 4 finals

Mixed 4×100 Medley Relay

Powered by an anchor split of 51.10 from Cate Campbell, perhaps the greatest relay performer in history, Australia took top honors in the mixed medley relay, winning in 3:39.08. Campbell overhauled the United States’ Simone Manuel on the closing leg, as the Americans won the silver medal in 3:39.10. Campbell was joined by Mitch Larkin, Matthew Wilson and Emma McKeon in the event that debuts on the Olympic schedule next year in Tokyo.

The juggling of lineups and consistent shifting of pool position mits ake the mixed medley relay intriguing in nature, but when Campbell dove in the water for the anchor leg, there wasn’t much mystery. Campbell had the clearly defined objective of running down Manuel and erasing the 1.25-second lead of the Americans. Always up to the challenge presented on the end of a relay, Campbell scorched through her 100 meters and got to the wall barely ahead of Manuel, who closed her leg in 52.37.

Australia front-loaded its lineup with its men, going with Larkin on backstroke and Wilson on the breaststroke leg. After Larkin opened up in 53.47, Wilson checked in with a split of 58.37. Meanwhile, the United States went with Ryan Murphy on backstroke and Lilly King on breaststroke. Each turned in a strong contribution, Murphy going 52.46 and King delivering a 1:04.96 mark. The fly leg saw McKeon split 56.14, but with Caeleb Dressel going 49.33, the fastest fly split in history, the United States took a one-plus-second edge into the last leg. That’s where Campbell shined. Whether racing in a regular relay or in a mixed medley relay, Campbell rarely comes up short.

“I knew it was going to be a really tight race and I knew that I had to stick to my race plan, not rush it on the way out and back myself to get the job done,” Campbell said. “I’m really pleased with my performance but also the performance of the team…I could see that (McKeon) was holding her own against Caeleb Dressel and James Guy. I knew that the guys were behind me 100% and to give anything less would have been rude.”

Larkin had a difficult double, as he raced the semifinals of the 200 individual medley not long before the relay. By qualifying for the final of the 200 IM and garnering mixed medley gold, it turned into a pretty good night for the veteran.

“Swimming relays is fantastic,” Larkin said. “You’ve got to swim for your country more than yourself so seeing these guys in the (call) room certainly got me up. Obviously looking next to the Yanks is pretty inspiring. You just convince yourself that you’ve done the work and you’ve got to back yourself 100%. I tightened up quite heavily at about 45 meters, which is a long way to go that last 50. It was a bit of a slow split but I had 100% faith in these guys and I backed them all the way. Matt had a fantastic split, Emma had a fantastic split and then Cate finishes off perfectly every time. It’s a fantastic time and we will see what happens next year.”

The bronze medal went to Great Britain, which fended off a charge by Russia. Relying on the squad of Georgia Davies, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Freya Anderson, the British recorded a time of 3:40.68, compared to the 3:40.78 of Russia. Peaty was 57.73 on the breaststroke leg, which was slower than expected for the world-record holder, but enough to give the Brits a boost compared to the rest of the world.

Results:

  1. 3:39.08, Australia
  2. 3:39.10, United States
  3. 3:40.68, Great Britain
  4. 3:40.78, Russia
  5. 3:43.06, Canada
  6. 3:43.27, Italy
  7. 3:45.07, Germany
  8. DSQ, Netherlands
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