LONDON (AP) – Australia won gold in the women’s 400-meter freestyle relay, setting an Olympic record of 3 minutes, 33.15 seconds Saturday night.
The United States team got off to a blistering start with Colorado’s Missy Franklin swimming leadoff under world-record pace, but the Australians rallied behind Brittany Elmslie on the third leg. Melanie Schlanger held on at the end, with Ranomi Kromowidjojo closing fast to give the Netherlands a silver in 3:33.79.
The other members of the winning team were Alicia Coutts and Cate Campbell.
The Americans slipped to the bronze in 3:34.24, but that was still good enough to give Natalie Coughlin the 12th medal of her career, tying Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson as the most decorated U.S. female Olympian. Coughlin swam in the morning prelims, but wasn’t used in the evening; everyone who swims on a relay gets a medal.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)