JANEIRO - Australia turned to the best sister act in
swimming to hold off an American team anchored by Katie
gold to Cate and Bronte Campbell.
world record, too.
Campbells carried their squad to victory in the
4x100-meter freestyle relay Saturday night at the Rio
Olympics, with little sister Bronte snatching the lead
from Dana Vollmer on the third leg and big sister Cate
pulling away from Ledecky on the final down-and-back for a
time of 3 minutes, 30.65 seconds.
Aussies broke their own mark of 3:30.98 set two years ago
and defended their gold medal from four years ago.
one was different because it was expected," Cate
Campbell said. "It's always a lot harder to do
something when it's expected."
wasn't the only world record to fall on a late night of
swimming to kick off the games. Shaking off repeated
frustration on the sport's biggest stage, Katinka Hosszu
of Hungary crushed the world record in the women's 400
individual medley to make the first Olympic medal of her
Japan's Kosuke Hagino ended American dominance in the
men's 400-meter individual medley, while Australia's Mack
Horton took down Sun Yang of China without giving his
bitter rival so much as a passing glance.
victories by Horton and the women's relay team capped an
impressive first night for an Australian team that
captured only one swimming gold medal in London four years
already eclipsed that total, with seven more nights to go.
the powerful Americans managed three silvers but couldn't
reach the top step on the podium.
Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil did their best in the relay,
giving the U.S. a lead at the midway point. But Bronte
Campbell was more than a second faster than Vollmer, who
had competed about an hour earlier in the semifinals of
the 100 butterfly, and Ledecky was no match for Cate
Campbell, the world-record holder in the 100 free.
had to settle for silver in an American-record time of
3:31.89, extending a gold-medal drought in the event that
goes back to the 1996 Atlanta Games. Canada claimed the
gives Ledecky a strong shot at capturing five medals in
Rio. She's favored in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle
events, and could take another gold in the 4x200 free
made it so much more fun to have a relay as the first
event," Ledecky said. "We couldn't be happier
with our silver medal and American record."
known as the "Iron Lady" for her grueling
schedule, had an especially sweet triumph. She had
captured nine medals — including five golds — at the
world championships but never won an Olympic medal. She
defiantly pumped her chest before breaking into a huge
been chasing that world record for quite some time,"
she said. "I knew I could go faster, but I didn't
think I can go this much faster."
led all the way and touched in 4:26.36, easily eclipsing
the record of 4:28.43 held by China's Ye Shiwen. Maya
DiRado of the U.S. touched nearly 5 seconds behind, taking
silver ahead of Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia.
honestly didn't even see her, she was so far ahead,"
DiRado said of Hosszu.
claimed gold for Japan by holding off Chase Kalisz,
becoming the first non-American to win the grueling event
made a late charge but couldn't catch Hagino, a bronze
medalist at the 2012 London Games but golden this time
around in 4:06.05.
settled for the silver in 4:06.75, while Japan's Daiya
Seto took bronze.
thought about a lot of stuff this afternoon but decided to
just stop over-thinking and go for it," Hagino said.
"I knew Daiya and Chase would come for me but I just
had to leave it all out there, which is what I did."
Lochte was the defending Olympic champion, didn't even
qualify at the U.S. trials. Michael Phelps was the
champion in 2004 and 2008, but he's dropped the 400 IM
from his program. Tom Dolan was a back-to-back champion in
1996 and 2000.
victory came at the expense of Sun, the defending Olympic
champion. The Aussie grabbed the lead for good on the
next-to-last lap and held off the hard-charging Chinese
star, who won both the 400 and 1,500 free in London.
happened after the race was even more dramatic.
blood between the two was on display for all to see as
Horton celebrated without even acknowledging the
runner-up. Sun made a move as though he wanted to
congratulate Horton, but the winner looked the other way.
They got out of the pool together but acted as if the
other didn't exist.
morning prelims, Horton described Sun as "a drug
cheat" when discussing an incident between the two in
the practice pool. The Aussie didn't back down with a gold
around his neck, referring to a three-month suspension
that Sun served in 2014 for using a banned stimulant.
used the words drug cheat because he tested
positive," Horton said. "I just have a problem
with athletes who have tested positive and are still
winning time was 3:41.55, just 13-hundredths of a second
ahead of Sun. Italy's Gabriele Detti rallied past American
Conor Dwyer, the top qualifier in the prelims, for the
am clean," Sun insisted. "I've done whatever it
takes to prove I'm a clean athlete."
and Sun finally gave each other a begrudging handshake on
the medal stand, but that was about it.