Kazan vs. Rio: Comparing the 800 Free Relay


Day 5 of the Olympics concluded with an amazing performance by the American women, who clinched the gold medal in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:43.03. The all-star team consisting of Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith, Maya DiRado, and Katie Ledecky put up an amazing race, beating out both Australia and Canada. Australia took the silver medal while the bronze went to Canada, thanks to an amazing anchor leg from Penny Oleksiak (1:54.94).

In comparison to the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, this race was ridiculously faster. Team USA was a whole 2 seconds faster, and China’s team finished 4 seconds faster than they were last summer. Additionally, Sweden posted an almost identical time but still failed to medal. Check out a comparison of the times from the finals in Kazan and Rio in the table below. 

Country Kazan Rio
1. USA 7:45.37 7:43.03
2. Australia 7:51.02 7:44.87
3. Canada 7:57.31 7:45.39
4. China 7:49.10 7:45.39
5. Sweden 7:50.24 7:50.26
6. Hungary NS 7:51.03
7. Russia 7:55.19 7:53.26
8. Japan 7:54.62 7:56.76

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Twelve second improvement by Canada! That’s crazy. I guess Maclean was out/injured last year, and Ruck and Oleksiak weren’t yet on the scene. Congratulations to them. And to the US, of course!

Mike M

Although the 2012 team did clock a 7:50.65 (and 7:50.84 in the heat) when it finished 4th in London (McLean was also on the team along with Barbara Jardin, Sam Cheverton and Amanda Reason).

Bill G

Canadian World Junior team in the 4×200 swam faster than the Kazan team …. 7:57.04

Penny Oleksiak (1:59.92)
Rebecca Smith (1:59.41)
Mary-Sophie Harvey (2:01.00)
Taylor Ruck (1:56.71)


The Canadians were very smart to pick Ruck for the team despite her sub-par performance at their Trials! Remember, she didn’t qualify for the Team with her swims there.


Canada will sweep all three relays in Tokyo with relative ease, just you watch.


That was unexpectedly nice team capable for world record. They were strongly oriented on gold medal and they delivered it in reliable professional way. Job was very well done. Should they target world record they would delivered it as well – they have at least1.5sec reserve with more risky execution plan.
What also differs this team from the Kazan’s one is the spirit of camaraderie. In Kazan it was Franklin, Ledecky and others. It is completely different picture here in Rio. I like these girls and the team they made.


I agree with you that this team would have broken the WR had they wanted to!
And Thank God the coaches decided not to use Missy Franklin! we could have lost with Missy on the relay!


My heart goes to Missy….I really do not know what she had done to deserve such responses. It is not like she swum slower on purpose. She took immense pride in representing te as m USA through number of years. I admit she did rub me wrong way sometime with her over the top happiness but really what’s wrong with it? There may be many reasons she is not doing as great as she or the public would want but there can be multiple reasons hot her slower times. I do not know what the folks criticizing her achieved in their lives but Missy already had long list of superb accomplishments. If she decides to retire tomorrow and move on… Read more »


I think YOZH1K is talking about the specific decision to sit her out based on her Rio 200 times, nothing else. Based on her Rio times, the US relay could have lost.

Brute Bradford

If Missy gets a nutritionist and decides she wants to be great again, she can drop 20 pounds and she’ll be fast again. That’s the key.


one of the most disgusting things i’ve ever read on this site.

Zika Ziki

Are you saying Missy is overweight?

About Rachel Harvill

Rachel Harvill

Rachel has been swimming ever since she can remember. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she learned to love swimming with the Walnut Creek Aquabears. She took her passion for swimming to Willamette University in Salem, Oregon where she primarily competes in sprint freestyle events. In addition …

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