Sport Relay record gives Australia gold at pool

07:42  25 july  2021
07:42  25 july  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Australia's women's freestylers have extended a golden Olympic era as the nation pocketed medals of all colours in the opening swimming finals session at the Tokyo Games.

a group of people wearing costumes: Australians (l to r) Emma McKeon, Bronte Campbell, Cate Campbell and Meg Harris display relay gold. © Joe Giddens/AAP PHOTOS Australians (l to r) Emma McKeon, Bronte Campbell, Cate Campbell and Meg Harris display relay gold.

The women's 4x100m freestyle relay team set a world record in Sunday's final to triumph at a third Olympics in a row.

And Australia's Jack McLoughlin took silver in the 400m freestyle and compatriot Brendon Smith the bronze in the 400m individual medley.

The medals were Australia's first of the Tokyo Games.

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The women's relay team of Cate Campbell, her sister Bronte, Emma McKeon and Meg Harris dominated their final at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.

Their winning time of three minutes 29.69 seconds bettered Australia's previous world benchmark of 3:30.05 set at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Cate Campbell, who with basketballer Patty Mills carried Australia's flag at Friday night's opening ceremony in Tokyo, has featured in three successive Olympic victories.

Sibling Bronte and McKeon now have two career Olympic golds, both from the relay, while 19-year-old Harris wins gold on Olympic debut.

The Australians were gifted early momentum by Bronte Campbell, who left her team lurking ominously in second spot after her leg.

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Teen Harris, the team's susprise inclusion, then took the lead on the second leg: the Australians were never challenged thereafter, with McKeon and finally Cate Campbell increasing their advantage as they triumphed by almost three seconds from Canada.

In the men's 400 final, McLoughlin almost pulled off a daring victory.

He set the pace and with one lap to go led by 0.31 seconds.

But Tunisian teen Ahmed Hafnaoui, in lane eight, pipped the Australian in the last metre to win by 0.16s.

"It's my race plan," McLoughlin said of his lead-from-the-front assault.

"I just wanted to get out front and say 'chase me'. It almost paid off.

"I couldn't see all the way over (to lane eight) ... I knew they were coming at me and was just trying to get that hand on the wall."

In the 400m medley final, Smith - a 21-year-old on his first senior Australian swim team - operated in reverse to McLoughlin's plan.

Smith was last with 100m remaining before unleashing a flying freestyle leg to claim the bronze medal.

"When the Games were postponed I knew it gave me an opportunity to be one year older and one year stronger," Smith said.

"It was a blessing for me but, saying that, I've gone through hell to be here.

"I've been swimming in the oceans for two months in Melbourne, getting down to 11-12 degrees in the water, with Melbourne gone through six months of lockdown."

Tokyo Olympics highlights Sunday: Australia celebrates best single day in history, Emma McKeon breaks multiple records .
Australia has its most successful Olympic day in history as the Dolphins become the most decorated Australian swim team, and BMX rider Logan Martin secures the country's first land-based gold.Emma McKeon led the way with a gold in the women's 50m freestyle, then jumped back in the pool with the rest of the relay team to clinch gold in the 4x100m medley relay.

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