Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games swimming concluded with the women’s 4x100 Free Relay. Two Golden Bears Calympians, alum Dana Vollmer and incoming freshman Abbey Weitzeil, swam for the U.S.A. team who placed Silver while setting a new American Record of 3:31.89. Unfortunately, heavy favorites Australia set a new World Record of 3:30.65 to take the Gold. The Canadians took the Bronze.
The USA lineup for the 4x100 Free Relay consisted of two California Golden Bears and two Stanford Cardinal. Stanford’s redshirt sophomore Simone Manuel leadoff, followed by Cal’s incoming freshman Abbey Weitzeil 2nd. Cal alum Dana Vollmer swam 3rd before the anchor being incoming Stanford freshman Katie Ledecky. The inclusion of Ledecky was somewhat surprisingly given how Ledecky did not place in the top 6 for the 100 Free at the U.S. Swimming Trials.
Abbey Weitzeil had the best split but the Campbell sisters Bronte and Cate of Australia were just too fast. Winner of both 50 Free and 100 Free in the US Swimming Trials, Weitzeil will also race in those two events. The race between the Weitzeil and the two Campbell sisters in both the 50 Free and the 100 Free should be exciting.
Neither Vollmer nor Weitzeil swam in the prelim for this relay this morning. Earlier today, Vollmer also swam in the 100 Fly prelim and then the 100 Fly semifinal just a mere hour before this final. Vollmer is the defending Gold medalist in the 100 Fly and a favorite to medal in that event in Day 2.
Both Vollmer and Weitzeil are likely candidates for Team USA in the 4x100 Medley Relay that will conclude the Rio 2016 Swimming session. Both of them are likely to win more medals in the Rio 2016 games.
Swimmers who swam the prelims will also receive medals. Stanford’s Lia Neal, Allison Schmitt, and Amanda Weir will also receive silvers. These three swimmers swam with Katie Ledecky earlier on the day.
Calympians Medal Count:
2 Silvers (through Day 1)
Dana Vollmer (USA) - Silver from Women’s 4x100 Free Relay
Abbey Weitzeil (USA) - Silver from Women’s 4x 100 Free Relay