Untouchable: Aussie women continue 4×100 freestyle dominance

Jul 24, 2021, 2:36 PM | Updated: Jul 25, 2021, 2:54 am

TOKYO (AP) — You could see by the way they huddled afterward, arms linked and beaming smiles on every face, that this team is tight.

Just about untouchable, too.

Australia claimed a third straight gold in the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in world-record time at the Olympics on Sunday.

Bronte Campbell led them off at Tokyo Aquatics Center and her older sister Cate swam anchor to power the Aussies home in 3 minutes, 29.69 seconds, breaking the 3:30 mark and bettering their own world record of 3:30.05 set at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

The first day of finals swimming at the Olympics was headlined by the United States’ haul of six medals. But the session ended with yet another Aussie triumph in the 4×100 freestyle, a result that’s almost expected now at the Olympics.

“Yeah, breaking a world record is incredible,” said Bronte Campbell. “We were just going out there to do our job.”

Simone Manuel and the U.S. team took bronze behind Canada.

Australia’s back-to-back-to-back Olympic victories have all been majorly impressive. The Aussies also won with a new WR at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and set an Olympic record in London.

The Campbell siblings marked what might be their last contributions to the Australian 4×100 tradition by presenting each other with their gold medals. With no officials to hang medals over athletes’ necks at these Games because of COVID-19, the Campbells did it for each other, their own intimate family medal ceremony on the podium.

They walked away after the ceremony with their arms around each other.

Bronte has swum in the final on the last two gold-winning teams. Cate swam all three finals.

Having sisters on the team no doubt helps foster unity. The real secret, Cate Campbell said, is ensuring that tight team spirit is blended in the right way with a competitive rivalry between the team members.

“We come together at least once a year and train together for a full week, and we push each other and we challenge each other,” Cate Campbell said. “But we do that in a really supporting way.

“There’s no malice and no animosity towards one another and I think that has just spoken volumes.”

The idea for the Campbell sisters to present medals to each other came from Meg Harris, the 19-year-old newcomer to the team who didn’t think she’d be swimming the final.

“I was so happy last night just swimming in the heats with these girls,” Harris said. “To have the opportunity to do it again is insane. I’m just happy to be here at this point.”

Emma McKeon swam a blistering third leg, with her performance inspired, she said, by the reputation of the team and the standards it has set. McKeon was also part of the victorious lineup in 2016.

“With these girls, the adrenaline’s always high,” she said.

___

More AP Olympic coverage: https://www.apnews.com/OlympicGames and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Tunisia's head coach Jalel Kadri gives instructions from the side line during the World Cup group D...
Associated Press

France can win WCup group in style, Tunisia simply must win

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Defending champion France has not won its three World Cup group-stage matches since winning its first title in 1998. Tunisia hasn’t even won three matches in its World Cup history, but must beat France on Wednesday to have any chance of advancing to the round of 16 in Qatar. And Tunisia’s […]
1 day ago
A migrant laborer paints The Pearl Monument, a sculpture depicting an open oyster shell with runnin...
Associated Press

Qatar says worker deaths for World Cup ‘between 400 and 500’

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — A top Qatari official involved in the country’s World Cup organization has put the number of worker deaths for the tournament “between 400 and 500” for the first time, a drastically higher number than any other previously offered by Doha. The comment by Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee […]
1 day ago
Australia's fans celebrate after winning the World Cup group D soccer match between Tunisia and Aus...
Associated Press

Australia plays Denmark for last 16 spot at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Scenes of wild celebrations featuring flares and fire are not the norm in Australia after World Cup matches. Yet that was exactly what happened in Melbourne’s Fed Square after the Socceroos beat Tunisia on Saturday for just their third win in 18 World Cup matches. Now, Australia is after something even […]
1 day ago
Players warm up during a training session of Mexico's national soccer team in Jor, Qatar, Sunday, N...
Associated Press

Mexico faces early World Cup exit against Saudi Arabia

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Mexico is going to have to suddenly find goals — and perhaps even several of them — to extend its knockout-round streak at the World Cup. Mexico has reached the round of 16 at the last seven World Cups, tied for the longest current streak with Brazil. But in Qatar, El […]
1 day ago
FILE - Players from Germany pose for the team photo as they cover their mouth during the World Cup ...
Associated Press

Analysis: As Qatar World Cup unfolds, planet keeps spinning

LONDON (AP) — Soccer — or football, to most of the global billions watching the World Cup this month — is not human society itself, with all its thorny issues. But at times, the game is a reflection of the entire planet — of nations, their disputes, their aspirations and those of a multitude of […]
1 day ago
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup grou...
Associated Press

Messi, Argentina play Poland for survival at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi has already come to Argentina’s rescue at the World Cup. He might just have to do it all over again. Another emotionally charged evening awaits Messi and the soccer-mad south American nation that worships him when Argentina meets Poland on Wednesday for a match with so much on the […]
1 day ago
Untouchable: Aussie women continue 4×100 freestyle dominance