The first day of swimming at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships saw medals being awarded in the men’s and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay. The 12 fastest nations during the heats qualified a team to compete at the Olympics. Swimming at the World Aquatics Championship is currently being held in Gwangju, South Korea from July 21st to July 28th 2019.
The heats for the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay was won by Australia where they finished with a time of 3:33.39. This was 1.34 seconds ahead of Canada and 2.64 seconds ahead of Sweden. The other nations which qualified to the Olympics were the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, China, Germany, Russia, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic and Poland.
The final had multiple lead changes as nations vied for gold. The first leg was led by Sweden thanks to Sarah Sjoestroem. The United States took the lead at the end of the second leg while Canada was in the lead after the third leg. A great final leg by Cate Campbell allowed Australia to win gold with a time of 3:30.21. The United States and Canada won silver and bronze respectively.
For the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay it was the United States who had the best time in the heats, winning with a time of 3:11.31. Second and third were Great Britain (3:12.42) and Russia (3:12.64) respectively. The other nations which qualified to the Olympics were Australia, Italy, Brazil, France, Hungary, Japan, Greece, Germany and Poland.
In contrast to the women’s final the men’s final was led by the United States for most of the race. Caeleb Dressel took the lead during the second half of his 100m and the nation held the lead for the rest of the race to win gold with a time of 3:09.06. Similarly, Russia held second place for most of the race as they won silver with a time of 3:09.97. The bronze medal was won by Australia who thanks to Kyle Chalmers moved the nation from sixth to third on the last leg.
The only other opportunity for nations to qualify in these events is by being one of the four fastest nations not yet qualified in an approved event ending on May 31st 2020. Swimming at the World Aquatics Championships continues with the next direct qualifiers being the mixed 4x100m medley relay to be held on Wednesday.