Australia stun USA to win women’s 4x100m medley relay in Olympic record

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 01: (L-R) Emma McKeon, Chelsea Hodges, Kaylee McKeown and Cate Campbell of Team Australia react after winning the gold medal and breaking the olympic record  for the Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 01: (L-R) Emma McKeon, Chelsea Hodges, Kaylee McKeown and Cate Campbell of Team Australia react after winning the gold medal and breaking the olympic record for the Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on August 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The team of Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell snatch 4x100m medley gold from double defending champions USA

Australia have won the women’s 4x100m medley relay at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The Australian team of Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell took the gold medal, finishing ahead of the United States for the silver medal and Canada taking the bronze.

The Australians finished with a time of 3:51.60, a new Olympic record, while the USA touched the wall at 3:51.73, 0.13 seconds behind. Canada took the bronze in 3:52.60.

This was Australian’s 20th medal for swimming in Tokyo.

“These girls are so amazing. They’ve all got individual medals," said Hodges of her Australian team-mates.

"I knew I would have to swim out of my skin and (I) gave it everything I’ve got."

“I didn’t think we’d walk away with this level of achievement as a team and as individuals," added McKeown, who won her third gold medal of the Games.

"It (my heart) goes out to all my Aussie teammates and all the support back home."

The race was too close to call as the lead changed hands a few times throughout.

Through the first leg, the backstroke, Canada was out in front thanks to Kylie Masse, with the USA and Canada trailing behind.

In the breaststroke, the second leg, the USA’s Lydia Jacoby and Australia’s Chelsea Hodges put in good performances as their respective countries began to pull away from the rest of the field.

The United States were 0.5 seconds ahead of Australia at the halfway stage.

The third leg, the butterfly, ended with the USA still in the lead.

The two-time defending champions USA were perfectly poised to win the relay for the third consecutive Olympics and the 11th time overall.

But Australia did not read the script, and they overtook the world champions in the final 10 metres of the race to snatch the gold, stunning the USA quartet.

This was Australia’s ninth gold medals of the Games (they have won 20 medals overall), making the competitors in Tokyo the country’s most successful Olympic swim team.