The decision to not have Missy Franklin in the lineup for the women’s 4×200 freestyle final certainly raised some eyebrows. But in the end, the race boiled down to one thing: the United States had Katie Ledecky, and no other team in the pool did.
Ledecky posted a time of 1:53.74 in her 200 meter anchor leg, turning what was a close race into a comfortable win for the United States. Team USA finished in a time of 7:43.03, with Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith and Maya DiRado swimming the first three legs. DiRado, who also won medals in the 200 IM (bronze) and 400 IM (silver), won her first Olympic gold medal as did Smith.
Schmitt has now won four Olympic gold medals in her career, with Ledecky having four to her credit as well.
Taking the silver was Australia with a time of 7:44.87, and Canada won bronze with a time of 7:45.39. While Franklin didn’t swim in the final she will be awarded a medal due to her competing in the preliminary heat, as will Melanie Margalis and Cierra Runge.