Simone Manuel Holds Off 400 Free Relay Anchors for USA Gold

Photo Courtesy: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

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Women’s 400 Free Relay FINAL

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden jumpstarted the women’s 400 free relay final with a new 100 free world record as the lead off leg for Sweden. Sjostrom powered to a dominating 51.71, obliterating the previous world record of 52.06, which was set in 2016 by Australia’s Cate Campbell.

Michelle Coleman of Sweden continued to hold Sjostrom’s lead throughout the second leg, but the Americans charged forward. Katie Ledecky, fresh off a 400 free victory, pulled ahead on the third leg giving Team USA the lead as anchor Simone Manuel dove in. Manuel, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, held off a quickly charging Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Emma McKeon to claim gold for Team USA.

Mallory Comerford (52.59), Kelsi Worrell (53.16), Ledecky (53.83), and Manuel (52.14) turned in a combined time of 3:31.72 to bring home Team USA’s first women’s relay gold. Comerford downed the Manuel’s American Record of 52.70 with her 52.59 swim, while the entire relay took down the previous 400 free relay American Record of 3:31.89.

Australia’s Shayna Jack (53.75), Bronte Campbell (52.14), Brittany Elmslie (53.83), and McKeon (52.29) picked up the silver with a combined time of 3:32.81.

A dominating anchor leg by Kromowidjojo (51.98) powered The Netherlands to a bronze medal finish of 3:32.84. Teammates Kim Busch (54.05), Femke Heemskerk (52.84), and Maud van der Meer (53.77) completed the relay for The Netherlands.

Canada’s Sandrine Mainville (53.77), Chantal van Landeghem (52.97), Kayla Sanchez (54.16), and Penny Oleksiak (52.98) picked up fourth with a time of 3:33.88.

Sweden settled for fifth overall with a final time of 3:33.94, followed by China’s combined time of 3:36.49.

Japan and Denmark completed the top eight with times of 3:38.24 and 3:38.86, respectively.

Swimming World Radio

Listen to the American women discuss their gold medal:

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  1. avatar

    Wonderful swims for all-Mallory did break the American record!