Olympics: Canada, USA Pace Women’s 400 Medley Relay Qualifying; Lineup Changes Aplenty to Come

Jul 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Margaret Macneil (CAN) during the women's 100m butterfly heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network

Editorial content for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games coverage is sponsored by GMX7.
See full event coverage. Follow GMX7 on Instagram at @GMX7training #gmx7


Olympics: Canada, USA Pace Women’s 400 Medley Relay Qualifying; Lineup Changes Aplenty to Come

The lineups will change before the final is contested on the final day of competition, but for now Canada and the United States lead the way after the preliminaries of the women’s 400 medley relay at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Fueled by a superb butterfly leg from Olympic champion Maggie MacNeil, Canada registered a time of 3:55.17, a hundredth of a second quicker than the 3:55.18 of Team USA.

Canada relied on the quartet of Taylor Ruck (59.64), Sydney Pickrem (1:07.03), MacNeil (55.82) and Kayla Sanchez (52.68) to put itself in position to chase another medal. Canada will bolster its lineup in the final when it brings Kylie Masse onto the backstroke leg and Penny Oleksiak onto the freestyle leg. Canada will also have the option of tabbing Kelsey Wog for breaststroke duty.

For the United States, Rhyan White got the team started with a backstroke split of 59.19 and was followed by Lilly King, who covered the breaststroke in 1:05.51. Claire Curzan checked in with a 57.65 effort on butterfly and Erika Brown wrapped things up with a freestyle mark of 52.83. For the final, the U.S. is expected to go with the foursome of Regan Smith, Lydia Jacoby, Torri Huske and Abbey Weitzeil.

Australia qualified third in 3:55.39 and will bring in Kaylee McKeown, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell for the final, making it a major contender.

Great Britain didn’t use Kathleen Dawson on the backstroke leg and the two-plus second difference from the 1:01.10 of Cassie Wild left the British team in ninth and out of the final.


Women’s 400 Medley Relay

World Record: United States (Smith, King, Dahlia, Manuel) 3:50.40 (2019)
Olympic Record: United States (Franklin, Soni, Vollmer, Schmitt) 3:52.05 (2012)


1. Canada, 3:55.17
2. United States, 3:55.18
3. Australia, 3:55.39
4. Italy, 3:55.79
5. Sweden, 3:56.23
6. Japan, 3:57.17
7. Russia, 3:57.36
8. China, 3:57.70