Though China led for the first two legs of the race and Australia for most of the third, it was the American team of Alison Schmitt, Leah Smith, Maya Dirado, and Katie Ledecky that took the top spot on the podium in a 7:43.03. China fell off pace in the back half of the race while Canada and Sweden fought for the medals. Though Canadian anchor Penny Oleksiak shot ahead of both China and Sweden before chasing down Tamsin Cook of Australia, she wasn’t quite able to catch up. Australia took the silver in 7:44.87 and Canada the bronze in 7:45.39.
See the results, along with the complete metrics of the women's 4x200m freestyle relay here.
TAKEAWAYS FOR YOUR TRAINING
Most teams traded some of their prelims swimmers for substitutes in finals to give the second wave a chance to rest. The Americans added Leah Smith, Maya Dirado, and Katie Ledecky to their lineup, the Australians added Emma McKeon, and the Canadians added Brittany Maclean and Penny Oleksiak. Putting in these fresh athletes for finals made a difference, giving the teams renewed energy and more closing speed. The anchor legs were particularly strong, coming back hard on their second hundreds to make it to the podium.
Check out our analysis of another relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics: Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay