Australia wins bronze in shock Olympic women’s 4x200m relay upset

Despite being the fastest qualifiers and the heavy favourites, Australia has taken bronze in the 4×200 metres women’s freestyle relay, finishing behind China and the US.

The Chinese team lead for most of the race and swam a world record time of 7 minutes, 40.33 seconds.

Both the US (7:40.73) and Australia (7:41.29) swam the final under the previous world record time of 7:41.50 that Australia set back in 2019.

The bronze medal for the Australian team of Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, Madison Wilson and Leah Neale has taken Australia’s medal tally in Tokyo to 19.

Titmus, who led out the Aussies in the first leg of the race, said the team performed well to break its 2019 world record.

“We were under our previous world record, so it was still a good swim from us,” she said.

The result gives Titmus her first bronze of the Olympics to go with two golds.

It was also Emma McKeon’s third medal of the Games after she won bronze in the women’s 100m butterfly and gold in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

Australia held the lead for stretches in the middle two legs of the race, swum by McKeon and Wilson.

At the 700m mark, Aussie anchor Neale turned in second behind China, with the US in third.

But Katie Ledecky, the champion American whom Titmus defeated in the 200m and 400m finals, pulled ahead of Neale by the 750m and held onto second place, delivering her first win over archrival Titmus at the Tokyo Games.

The medal was the third for Australia in the pool on Thursday, following Izaac Stubblety-Cook’s gold in the men’s 200m breaststroke and Kyle Chalmers’s silver in the 100m freestyle.

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