It is the chronicle of a record foretold. Because all forecasts pointed out that the first world record of the Tokyo Olympic Games would come out of the pool thanks to four Australian mermaids.
And so it happened this Sunday, July 25. Sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell, Emma McKeon and Meg Harris won the gold and the record in the 4x100 freestyle with a time of 3:29.69.
They broke the 3:30 wall for the first time to easily beat Canada (3:32.78) and the United States (3:32.81) to win the first gold medal for their country at the Games by more than three seconds.
It is Australia’s third consecutive crown in this event.
Her country’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony ‚Cate Campbell, was in the spotlight once again and closed the pole to break the world record that Australia had set at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Only Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom (52.62) was able to unsettle the Aussies in the first leg. The slight threat was erased by McKeon, the fastest swimmer of the season.
Cate Campbell was also on the champion relays in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics and again in Rio in 2016, so she joins Dawn Fraser and Libby Trickett as the only Australian swimmers to win gold medals at three Olympic Games.
The surprise result of the first day of finals at the Tokyo Aquatics Center was recorded in 400m freestyle, with Ahmed Hafnaoui (Tunisia) winning, who had entered the final with the eighth time.
Hafnaoui (3:43.36) became the second swimmer from his country in an Olympic swimming final. Oussama Mellouli was in the 1,500 freestyle at Beijing 2008 and also won the gold medal.
Australia’s Jack McLoughin, who led until the last meters before the Tunisian’s final offensive, was silver, and the bronze went to Kieran Smith of the United States. The other Australian Elijah Winnington, who led the year’s ranking, finished in seventh place.
In the third final of the day the United States made the one-two in the 400m combined to regain a hegemony that had been broken by Japan’s Kosuke Hagino in Rio 2016.
The double was taken by Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland with Australia’s Brendon Smith third.
Missed in the final was European champion Ilia Borodin of Russia, who stayed in Moscow after testing positive for covid-19. But Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte were missed even more.
Japan won its first gold medal in swimming with Ohashi Yui in the 400m combined. Americans Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger were silver and bronze.
The United States could lead the Olympic swimming tournament with some 20 gold medals, according to experts.