Aussies touched out of silver in thrilling relay

2 months ago 17
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Australia stormed home to claim a bronze medal and narrowly missed out on silver as Great Britain flexed their muscles in the men's 4x200m relay at the Tokyo Olympics.

Team GB qualified for the final almost two seconds quicker than the Aussies and continued their strong form in the final, leading from start to finish in a powerful performance to take gold.

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The Australian team of Thomas Neill, Zac Incerti, Alexander Graham and Kyle Chalmers were out of the medals until Neil took to the water for the anchor leg but he very nearly touched in for silver after moving through the field with a sensational swim.

Alexander Graham, Kyle Chalmers, Zac Incerti and Thomas Neill of Team Australia celebrate during the medal ceremony for the Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) (Getty)

The Aussies were just pipped for second by the Russian Olympic Committee team.

It was the first time the Brits had won the event since 1908 but they just missed a world record.

With a powerhouse team that included the 1-2 finishers in the individual 200m freestyle final, Britain blew away the field in 6 minutes, 58.58 seconds. That was just off the world record set by the Americans (6:58.55) at the 2009 world championships.

The 200-metre gold medalist, Tom Dean, led off for the British. James Guy and Matthew Richards took the middle legs before 200-metre silver medalist Duncan Scott swam the anchor leg. It was the first British gold in the event since it made its debut at the first London Games.

Tom Dean, James Guy and Matthew Richards of Team Great Britain react as teammate Duncan Scott (not pictured) swims the anchor leg during the Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) (Getty)

The Australians were in seventh position when Graham completed his opening swim, but a strong showing from Chalmers gave them a chance after he registered a super quick time of 1:45.35 to move them into fourth place.

As the British team pushed ahead in the third leg, the Australians were battling for a medal not far behind. Neill held Australia's hopes in the anchor leg and almost grabbed silver with a dominant performance but touched the wall just 0.03 seconds later than the Russian Olympic Committee team. Neill swam the fastest time of the Australians with 1:44.74.

When asked about the result, Neill channeled 1997 Newcastle Knights premiership winner Matthew Johns, joking: "It's better than lego."

The four-time defending champion Americans finished fourth - the first time they've failed to win a medal in the event other than the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.

-with AP

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