The Australian women’s 400-meter freestyle relay team is taking home a gold medal and an Olympic record from the London games.
The Australians’ time yesterday at the Aquatics Centre of 3 minutes 33.15 seconds, capped by Melanie Schlanger’s final leg of 52.65, was 0.61 seconds better than the mark set by the Netherlands in Beijing four years ago.
The Dutch took the silver medal this year at 3:33.79 and the U.S. finished in 3:34.24 to win the bronze.
“When I saw we were in the lead when I got in, I just really put my head down,” said the 25-year-old Schlanger.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 21, pressured Schlanger by swimming her portion in 51.93 seconds, the fastest split in the event’s history and the first time any woman had gone inside 52 seconds.
Schlanger’s teammates Alicia Coutts, 24, Cate Campbell, 20, and Brittany Elmslie, 18, embraced on the side of the pool as the winning red beacon shone.
“I’ve never had so much fun in my life,” Campbell said. “We’ve all dreamed of standing on the podium singing the national anthem. It’s beyond incredible.”