Aussies Break 4 x 100 Free World Record in First Relay Olympic Final

The Australian women crushed their own 4 x 100 free relay world record tonight, winning the gold medal in a 3:30.65.

The Campbell sisters led the way, with anchor Cate splitting 51.97, and third leg Bronte splitting 52.15, both faster than anyone in the field.

The Australians have held the world record in the 4×100 free since 2014, when they took down the 3:31.72 set by the Netherlands at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. Three of the four team members from tonight were also on the previous world record relay: Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell, and Emma McKeon. Below see the world record split progression:

World Record Swimmer 1 Swimmer 2 Swimmer 3 Anchor Time
2014 AUS Bronte Campbell: 53.15 Melanie Schlanger: 52.76 Emma McKeon: 52.91 Cate Campbell: 52.16 3:30.98
2016 AUS Emma McKeon: 53.47 Brittany Elmslie: 53.12 Bronte Campbell: 52.15 Cate Campbell: 51.97 3:30.65

In comparison to their splits this morning, McKeon went .64 faster than Madi Wilson, Elmslie improved by .10, Bronte Campbell went .11 faster, and Cate Campbell added .17.

The Australian team came in a full second ahead over the second-place Americans and nearly two ahead of the third-place Canadians.

Cate and Bronte will both take on the 100 free later this week, where they come in heavy favorites to both medal, if not to sweep first and second.

Here, you can see a deeper split analysis:

Aussie Relay

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4 years ago

Anyone know how the decision was made to have Vollmer swim tonight and leave Allison or whoever was #5? what were splits?

pete kennedy
Reply to  A B
4 years ago

It had nothing to do with medals. see above

Reply to  A B
4 years ago

They had to include Vollmer because she was entered as a relay swimmer so if they didn’t swim her, the whole relay would be disqualified. Anyway, she outsplit everyone from the morning except for Ledecky

Tea rex
Reply to  Kaz
4 years ago

I don’t believe so – my understanding is that everyone on your roster must swim an event, but Vollmer was not a relay-only qualifier.

Weir (53.60 leadoff in prelims) or Vollmer (53.59 season best) would pretty much be a wash. I might have gone with weir, but I think when the coaches can help a swimmer get an extra medal they probably will

Reply to  A B
4 years ago

USA girls fought well and broke American record…..

4 years ago

I think it was impossible for the US to win anyway. So the decision to have Vollmer swim so that she could also medal. Everyone won the silver medal! Win-win

4 years ago

What was USA splits

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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