BEIJING (Reuters) - Australia destroyed their own world record to win the 4x100 meters medley relay at the Beijing Olympics on Sunday and confirmed their status as the top nation in women’s swimming.
Backstroker Emily Seebohm, breaststroker Leisel Jones, butterflyer Jessicah Schipper and freestyler Libby Trickett to win the gold in a combined time of three minutes, 52.69 seconds.
They carved more than three seconds off the time the same lineup set at last year’s world championships and finished the swimming events with six golds, four more than traditional rivals the United States.
Jones was a part of the Australian team that won the same event in Athens four years ago and now has three career gold medals after winning her first individual gold medal in Beijing in the 100 breaststroke.
“It’s not hard to swim fast when you have such an amazing team behind you,” she said. “We knew we had a tough race on our hands and every individual swim had to be the best possible.”
Trickett collected her second gold in Beijing after winning the 100 butterfly final to complete a mixed week in which she finished second in the 100 freestyle and out of the medals in the 50 freestyle despite holding the world records for both events.
“It’s been full of highs and lows, it’s been a great rollercoaster,” she said.
“We have a great history in this event since Athens but this is the first time I’ve been a part and to be anchor was such an honor.”
The United States finished second in 3:53.30, also under the old world record, to give Natalie Coughlin her sixth medal of the Games, including one gold, and 41-year-old Dara Torres her third silver of the Games. China finished third in 3:56.11.
(Additional reporting by Martin Petty)
Editing by Greg Stutchbury