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Schmitt Sends US Sizzling Past AUS

Aug 1, 2012

Olympic Games, London, Day 5 Finals

Women's 4x200 Freestyle Relay

After the Dolphins had seen Nathan Adrian defuse their missile in the men's 100m free, they suffered another blow in the long relay after setting the pace for the best part of the race, before 200m solo champion Allison Schmitts settled the argument in a showdown with Alicia Coutts that was all but over 10m after the first turn. 

Schmitt dived in 0.52sec behind Coutts but turned almost level before blasting off the wall and gaining more than a second on her opponent down the next length. Her 1:54.09 split, the fastest of the race added up to  7:42.92 in all, an Olympic record that left the Australians to settle for another silver in 7:44.41, France third in 7:47.49, Canada 4th in 7:50.65 (0.19 faster than their morning swim and a textile best for the team) and Britain getting the better of a China quartet on a go-slow. 

The podium:

  • 1:55.96; 1:56.02; 1:56.85; 1:54.09 USA 7:42.92 Melissa Franklin; Dana Vollmer; Shannon Vreeland; Allison Schmitt
  • 1:55.76; 1:55.62; 1:56.91; 1:56.12 AUS 7:44.41 Bronte Barratt; Melanie Schlanger; Kylie Palmer; Alicia Coutts 
  • 1:55.51; 1:57.78; 1:58.05; 1:56.15 FRA 7:47.49 Camille Muffat; Charlotte Bonnet; Ophelie-Cyrielle Etienne; Coralie Balmy

The best split in the rest of the field was a 1:56.46 from Brittany Maclean, of Canada.

Schmitt now has a second gold in her treasury at these Games alongside a silver and a bronze. Missy Franklin, 17,  also claimed her second gold to add to her 100m backstroke victory and bronze in the 4x100m free, while Dana Vollmer also celebrated a second gold this evening after victory in the 100m butterfly, Shannon Vreeland the fourth member of the winning squad.

Back to the China quartet: world bronze medallists last year, they swam at least 6sec slower than form, double medley champion Ye Shiwen racing a full second slower over the last 50m of her 200m freestyle than she had on the last lap of her 400m medley on the first day of action when cracking along at the pace of Lochte and Phelps.