Led by Weitzeil, U.S. Women Throw Down American Record 4 x 100 Free


The American women may have taken silver tonight (behind a world-record-setting Australian team featuring the fastest two women in the world, Cate and Bronte Campbell), but they threw down the fastest swim in American history for that second place: a 3:31.89 to outdo the previous record by nearly half a second.

Abbey Weitzeil swam the fastest split of the team, a second-leg 52.56 that was only outdone by the aforementioned Campbells, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, and defending Olympic champ Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

Also on the team was lead-off Simone Manuel, who led off faster than anyone else in the field with 53.36. After the last few years, it almost seems like Manuel should already have a whole resume of Olympic experience, but this was her first-ever Olympic event.

Swimming third was Dana Vollmer, taking on her second event of the evening after the semifinals of the 100 fly (53.18). Katie Ledecky served as the anchor in 52.79, winning the first of what could be an Olympic five medals for the week.

The previous record was a 3:32.31 set by Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin, Shannon Vreelandand Megan Romano at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.

It’s rare that over the course of just three years, the entire relay has seen a complete turnover to be four different swimmers. The Aussie relay broke their national (and world) record tonight from 2014; tonight’s swim featured three of the same swimmers from the previous record.

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Naya Missy
4 years ago

All 4 women did an amazing job tonight. I honestly did not expect them to be that fast. The race was very close. And Ledecky continues to surprise me – I would not be surprised if she becomes a regular 4×100 free swimmer in the coming years.

Reply to  Naya Missy
4 years ago

hopefully Ledecky will be a regular face in 400m freestyle relay and do amazing things in future….good luck USA…..

4 years ago

Bay Area domination!! Go Cal and Stanford!!!

PK boo I\'m sad my name is too short now
4 years ago

Really great swim for all 4 girls. One note-Sjostrom outsplit Weitzel as well.

Bob Vitti

Not really. Factor out the reaction times and they had identical swims splits.

Weitzeil has a definite shot to medal.

Reply to  Bob Vitti
4 years ago

Yes, really. I mean, it’s true that if you factor out the thing that made Sjostrom faster, she is slower, but that’s not how relay splits work.

Relay starts are a skill, and Sarah executed it better (with her teammate’s help on the finish). Since relay starts are a part of relay splits, Sjostrom outsplit Weitzeil.

Pau Hana
Reply to  Sven
4 years ago

True – image you a thumbs-up – but I think Bob’s point was that Weitzel has a shot at medallions (i.e. Beating SJ in the open 100).

Pau Hana
Reply to  Pau Hana
4 years ago

Stupid auto-correct – “I gave” for “image” and “medals” not medallions. ????

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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