London Olympics Swimming Results 8/4: Team USA Women Cruise to WR in Final Race
The women of Team USA closed out their portion of the 2012 Olympics in grand style on August 4 with a resounding victory in the penultimate swimming event of the Games, the 4x100m medley relay.
Racing in lane six, 17-year-old rising star Missy Franklin began the race with the backstroke leg. Although Australian Emily Seebohm, a definite formidable foe in the pool, initially held a lead, Franklin surged during the second half, and finished her leg with a time of 58:10.
Rebecca Soni, who twice set a new World Record in the 200m breaststroke while competing at the London Games, followed. Although Russia's Iuliia Efimova kept pace with Soni early on, the US superstar pulled ahead and hit the wall solidly in first place.
Dana Vollmer followed with the butterfly leg. Russia swam in second, with Australian Alicia Coutts hoping to make up time after entering the race in fourth place. Coutts did indeed make up time, but Vollmer swam an impressive leg, running right along the World Record line before giving way to the final swimmer of the group.
And Allison Schmitt swam a quick freestyle anchor leg for Team USA, securing a gold medal win for herself and her teammates with a final time of 3:52.05. Team Australia came in second, while Japan finished in bronze position.
The gold medal is the US women's swimming team's eighth of the London Olympics. The number marks a huge improvement over the Beijing Games, where the ladies of Team USA earned just two top prizes. Surely more great things are in store for Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Allison Schmitt, Dana Vollmer, and the rest of Team USA.