China wins gold in swim relay, beating favored US and Australians

China claimed a surprise victory in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, setting a world record of 7 minutes 40.33 seconds and beating both the silver-winning United States and the highly-rated Australians. favored, who were satisfied with bronze.

Katie Ledecky continued her Olympic odyssey by winning a second silver medal in Tokyo with the US team, adding to her gold in the 1,500 freestyle.

Ledecky swam the final leg for an American team made up of Allison Schmitt, Paige Madden and Kathryn McLaughlin. She took third place in the water, but passed Australia to finish 0.4 seconds behind China, taking silver for the United States.

Australia were a big favorite behind Ariarne Titmus and were looking to lower the world record of 7: 41.50 they set in 2019. They swam the first leg and offered her teammates a spot in second, behind China. Emma McKeon put the Australians ahead of China halfway through the race, but China quickly took over.

It was the third Games medal for Titmus, who won gold in the 200 and 400 individual freestyle, ahead of Ledecky both times.

The Australian swimmers had already won the 4×100 freestyle relay on Sunday, setting a world record.

Ledecky has spent a career raising gold or bust expectations, and now swims with the curse of having to explain that she doesn’t win every race. In Tokyo, so far, she has one gold and two silver, as well as a fifth place finish.

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