The Australian team of Cameron McEvoy, James Magnussen, Kyle Chalmers and James Roberts have claimed bronze in the high profile 4×100 freestyle relay.
A rocky start from lead swimmer Roberts left the Aussies languishing in last place before a huge effort from 18-year-old Chalmers brought the squad back into the mix. Anchor Cameron McEvoy left nothing in the tank to make up ground and fight past a valiant Russian team for a medal victory.
McEvoy, otherwise known as “The Professor”, swam a split of 47.0 seconds- four hundredths of a second faster than his best swim this year at the Australian Olympic trials. He is the favourite to win the men’s 100m freestyle individual event.
The USA team beat Australia for the top spot and have now won the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay nine times at the Olympics. At his fifth Olympic games, veteran Michael Phelps swam the second leg for the Americans, earning his 19th Olympic gold medal and 23 Olympic medals in total.
In other finals, 17-year-old Tamsin Cook made her Olympic debut alongside fellow long distance swimmer Jessica Ashwood in the women’s 400m freestyle. The girls finished sixth and seventh respectively behind US swimmer and nine-time world champion Katie Ledecky, who took the gold and broke her own world record by almost two seconds.
Twenty-two year-old Emma Mckeon qualified with the second fastest time in the women’s 100m butterfly but finished seventh in the final. The win went to Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom who also broke the world record in a time of 55.48. This is Mckeon’s first Olympics and she is yet to race in the women’s 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay.
Night two at the Olympic Aquatic stadium also saw Australians dominate in the men and women’s 100m backstroke semi-finals. Dual world champion Mitch Larkin clocked the third fastest time at 52.70 seconds, just a few hundredths of a second behind US swimmers David Plummer and Ryan Murphy. Larkin has been a favourite for the event which has never seen an Australian win gold.
In the women’s, Maddison Wilson touched the wall in a time of 59.03, giving her a centre lane for the final. Reigning world champion Emily Seebohm finished a fraction after and will fight for a medal in lane one. – Jessica Best.
Photo of the Australian team receiving their medals from the Australian Dolphins Swim Team’s Facebook page.