Olympics: Ledecky anchors US to victory in women's 4x200m freestyle relay

Team USA celebrate winning the gold medal for the Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final on Aug 10.
Team USA celebrate winning the gold medal for the Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final on Aug 10. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO - A day after winning individual 200m freestyle gold, Katie Ledecky led the USA to gold in the 800m freestyle relay, stopping the clock at 7min 43.03sec.

The 19-year-old anchored the American team that included Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith and Madeline Dirado.

Australia took silver at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Wednesday (Aug 10) in 7:44.87. Canada completed the podium (7:45.39).

 

Sweden, China and Australia all led at one stage, with Australia still holding onto the lead after 650m. But Ledecky made up the ground, ensuring her team won by 1.84sec despite trailing by 0.89sec when she hit the water.

China were fourth ( 7:47.96) while Sweden finished sixth in 7:50.26.

Since the women's 4x200m free relay was introduced at the 1996 Atlanta Games, the Americans have won five of the six golds on offer. Their only blemish came at the 2008 Beijing Games, when they finished behind champions Australia and China.