Tokyo Relay Splits: Emma McKeon Blasts 51.35; Simone Gamble Pays Off for USA

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay

The women’s 4×100 free relay final was one for the history books, with the Australian quartet taking .36 off the World Record with their winning time of 3:29.69. While none of their swimmers was slower than 53.10, it was Emma McKeon’s 51.35 split on the third leg that really put considerable distance between Australia and the rest of the field. McKeon’s was the 5th-fastest relay split of all time, interrupting teammate Cate Campbell’s streak of the six fastest splits ever.

Rank Time Athlete Country Meet Date Location
1 50.93 Cate Campbell AUS 2018 Pan Pacific Champs 8/8/2018 Tokyo
2 51.00 Cate Campbell AUS 2018 Commonwealth Games 4/4/2018 Gold Coast
3 51.10 Cate Campbell AUS 2019 World Champs 7/23/2019 Gwangju
4 51.19 Cate Campbell AUS 2018 Pan Pacific Champs 8/8/2018 Tokyo
5 51.35 Emma McKeon AUS 2020 Olympic Games 7/24/2021 Tokyo
6 51.36 Cate Campbell AUS 2018 Pan Pacific Champs 8/8/2018 Tokyo

Sweden got off to an early lead out of lane 6 thanks to Sarah Sjostrom leadoff which broke the Olympic Record with 52.62. Bronte Campbell of Australia was next in 53.01, followed by Denmark’s Pernille Blume (53.07). Great Britain and Canada both produced sub-54 leadoffs, as well, from Anna Hopkin (53.16) and Kayla Sanchez (53.42).

Lead-off Splits

Country Swimmer Split
Sweden Sarah Sjostrom 52.62
Australia Bronte Campbell 53.01
Denmark Pernille Blume 53.07
Great Britain Anna Hopkin 53.16
Canada Kayla Sanchez 53.42
USA Erika Brown 54.02
China Cheng Yujie 54.10
Netherlands Kim Busch 54.64

USA’s Abbey Weitzeil was the fastest in the number 2 position with 52.68. She split 52.56 in Rio, also on the second leg. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.87) of Netherlands and Australia’s Meg Harris (53.09) were the next-fastest #2s.

McKeon led the 3rd leg by 1.8 seconds. The next-fastest was Natalie Hinds of USA, whose 53.15 brought the Americans from fourth into second place. Sweden’s Louise Hansson (53.51) and Canada’s Rebecca Smith (53.63) were the only other sub-54s on the 3rd leg.

Femke Heemskerk clocked a 52.05 on the end of Netherland’s relay for the fastest anchor. Cate Campbell’s 52.24 was next, bringing Australia in for the record. Campbell’s fastest split, however, is 50.93 from 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. She has been under 52 seconds 11 times. Penny Oleksiak notched a 52.26 to outsplit USA’s Simone Manuel by .70 and secure the silver medal for Canada.

Manuel’s 52.96 was the second-fastest split for the American squad. It was a vindication for the 2016 Olympic champion, whose semi-final performance at U.S. Olympic Trials put her one place short of making that final. Olivia Smoliga, Catie Deloof, and Allison Schmitt, who finished third, fifth, and sixth in that race with times that ranged from 53-mid to 54-low, raced on the USA relay in prelims but none broke 53.4.

Flying Splits

Country Position Swimmer Split
Australia 3 Emma McKeon 51.35
Netherlands 4 Femke Heemskerk 52.05
Australia 4 Cate Campbell 52.24
Canada 4 Penny Oleksiak 52.26
USA 2 Abbey Weitzeil 52.68
Great Britain 4 Freya Anderson 52.84
Netherlands 2 Ranomi Kromowidjojo 52.87
China 4 Wu Qingfeng 52.9
USA 4 Simone Manuel 52.96
Australia 2 Meg Harris 53.09
USA 3 Natalie Hinds 53.15
Great Britain 2 Abbie Wood 53.23
Canada 2 Maggie MacNeil 53.47
Sweden 3 Louise Hansson 53.51
China 2 Zhu Menghui 53.54
Sweden 2 Michelle Coleman 53.62
Canada 3 Rebecca Smith 53.63
Denmark 2 Signe Bro 53.78
Netherlands 3 Kira Toussaint 54.14
China 3 Ai Yanhan 54.22
Denmark 4 Jeanette Ottesen 54.39
Denmark 3 Julie Kepp Jensen 54.46
Great Britain 3 Lucy Hope 54.73
Sweden 4 Sophie Hansson 54.94

 

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Pez
1 month ago

Real slow split from Brown, atleast they medaled I suppose

Corn Pop
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

Cate Meg & Bronte were much slower than pbs also . Just that all 3s had room & Erikadid not ( being only a 53.4.

Lbswim
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

Why do you suppose ?

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Pez
1 month ago

Erika “Downtown” Brown CHOKED

Swimfan
1 month ago

With Campbell’s and and weitzeils splits in the books, the American women are now the favorite over Australia in the medlay relay now(weitzeil was only .4 sec of Campbell’s split)

Miss M
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

Can’t really compare: Weitzel fighting to get the US a medal, C1 in clear water a mile ahead with no pressure. C1 has at least another second in her!

Troyy
Reply to  Miss M
1 month ago

I hope so but time will tell if she can produce those kinds of splits still.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Miss M
1 month ago

Llily King will destroy whoever Australians place on the breaststroke leg.

Not Tapered
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
1 month ago

Unless they can somehow put the s
South African on the relay ☺️

Troyy
Reply to  Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
28 days ago

Haha.

Not Tapered
Reply to  Miss M
1 month ago

Right, sure she was holding back a full second

Drama King
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

Emma Mckeon could go 0.5 faster than Huske and give some momentum to Aussie Relay.

Lbswim
Reply to  Drama King
1 month ago

Or Huske could go 0.5 faster then McKeon. Soon we will see.

Ratio
Reply to  Drama King
1 month ago

McKeon is 10 years older than Huske and still has a slower PB lol

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Ratio
1 month ago

tell that to pellegrini in 2017/19 and her best textile time

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Chalmers
Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 month ago

Non sequitur.

Drama King
Reply to  Ratio
1 month ago

Lets see it tomorrow then.

USA
Reply to  Ratio
1 month ago

McKeon also has a full schedule while Huske only has the relays left

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Ratio
1 month ago

Torri Huske will be fresh as a daisy unlike Emma McKeon:

Women’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay
Women’s 100 meter freestyle heats
Women’s 100 meter freestyle semis
Women’s 100 meter freestyle final
Women’s 50 meter freestyle heats
Women’s 50 meter freestyle semis
Women’s 50 meter freestyle final

Not Tapered
Reply to  Drama King
1 month ago

Huske a bit slower here than trials and McKeon in top form.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

Abbey Weitzeil
Women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay splits
2016 – 52.56
2019 – 52.66
2021 – 52.68

Drama King
1 month ago

Because of Lucy Hope’s brain fade start, Yanks won the Bronze.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Drama King
1 month ago

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

I could say the same about Erika Brown:

54.02 – Olympics
53.59 – Trials

However, a bronze medal is better than left off the podium altogether.

LBSWIM
Reply to  Drama King
1 month ago

Every team can find excuses, buddy.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  LBSWIM
1 month ago

Now it’s the Brits with the lame excuses. It must be a Commonwealth trait.

Sean C.
1 month ago

Hopefully in the next quad Penny can enjoy greater consistency, but there are worse problems to have than always bringing your best times at the Olympic Games.

Kudzai
1 month ago

Australia’s time from prelims would still have won gold very handily… now thats depth!!!!

kevin
1 month ago

Well what everybody thought would happen it certainly did Australia won day light second world record achieved . Alas one feels change of the guarde Cate Bronte Emma you would not think will be in Paris . But with Mollie 17 and Meg 19 in deed the dynasty will carry on

commonwombat
Reply to  kevin
1 month ago

This will be the Olympic swansong for both Campbells; McKeon may well go on to Paris. Both Harris and O’Callaghan have passed their first Olympic exam with flying colours.

Where a 4th leg comes from remains open to question ? Does “the excuse factory” re-enter the equation or will we see the lure of an Olympic medal inspire 1-2 more new faces ?

STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

You’ve been talking about “swansongs” for Seebobm, Larkin, McEvoy …. for years. Your record is not a good one.

commonwombat
Reply to  STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
1 month ago

Both Campbell’s have openly put it on the public record that this would be curtains as regards Olympics.

The others were certainly supposition; in the cases of McEvoy & Larkin based on university commitments given they are both targetting “the professions” & in Seebohm’s case Anno Domini.

At no stage have I ever set myself up as infallible or the fountain of all knowledge.

Troyy
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

I know Bronte is retiring but when did Cate confirm that she is? Every time she’s spoken about it she’s seemed quite non-committal and hasn’t ruled out Paris.

M d e
Reply to  commonwombat
1 month ago

I expect McKeon to swim on tbh.

Wilson might try to one more also.

Robbos
Reply to  M d e
1 month ago

If you check out trials, some decent swimmers aged 16-18 coming thru.

SwimFam
1 month ago

People are forgetting that Brown’s PB was swum in an afternoon final at Trials and was only a half second off at the morning Finals of the relay. .5 slower is hardly choking people!!! Jesus.

William Alexander
1 month ago

Is nobody going to mention how manuel was well infront of oleksiak at the final change, yet penny swam completely over the top of her and clinched 2nd for the canadians, to relegate the americans to 3rd place.

Very nice to see Penny swimming well again, and also a rather incredible sight to see the aussies win by over 3 seconds; their B team from the heats would have won by nearly 2 seconds– thats what u call domination and depth.

IRO
Reply to  William Alexander
1 month ago

I think it was great for both of them. Penny’s had a hard four years, while Simone has had a hard few months. Both did well and should be celebrated. Cool to see them side by side after Rio, too. Two great champs.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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