| Event type

4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women

Date24 – 25 July 2021
LocationOlympic Aquatics Centre, 2-1, 2chome, Tatsumi, Koto-ku, Tatsumi-no-Mori Seaside Park, Tokyo, Japan
Participants68 from 15 countries

This event was conceded to Australia’s female sprinters before it began. As the two-time defending gold medalists, and world records holders (set at Rio in 2016), they did nothing to change that in the preliminary round, swimming 3:31.73, leading the round by almost two seconds over the Netherlands, with Canada qualifying third. The United States qualified only fifth and there was concern they would not make the podium, which had only happened at the Olympics in this event in 1912 and 1980, when they were not at the Olympic swimming competition.

In the final Australia subbed in Cate Campbell’s sister, Bronte and Emma McKeon for heat swimmers Mollie O’Callaghan and Madi Wilson. Bronte opened in 53.01, trailing only Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström, whose 52.62 bettered the Olympic record for the 100 freestyle, set at Rio by Canadian Penny Oleksiak and American Simone Manuel.

On the second leg Meg Harris recorded 53.09 for the Aussies to give them a slight lead over Sweden, with Great Britain in third. McKeon then shattered the field, swimming 51.35 on the third leg, and their lead was more than two seconds ahead of Sweden. Cate Campbell came home in 52.24 as the Aussies destroyed the world record with a time of 3:29.69, winning by more than three seconds over Canada.

Canada had been well back in the first two legs, but Oleksiak finished almost as fast as Cate Campbell in 52.26 to bring them the silver medal. Behind the top two the United States made the podium, as Manuel anchored in 52.96 to keep the American streak alive, just edging out the Netherlands.

PosLaneSwimmerNOCTimeExchange (Pos)
Bronte Campbell– (–)
Meg Harris– (–)
Emma McKeon– (–)
Cate Campbell– (–)
Mollie O'Callaghan– (–)
Madi Wilson– (–)
Kayla Sanchez– (–)
Maggie Mac Neil– (–)
Rebecca Smith– (–)
Penny Oleksiak– (–)
Taylor Ruck– (–)
3United StatesUSABronze
Erika Brown– (–)
Abbey Weitzeil– (–)
Natalie Hinds– (–)
Simone Manuel– (–)
Olivia Smoliga– (–)
Catie DeLoof– (–)
Allison Schmitt– (–)
Kim Busch– (–)
Ranomi Kromowidjojo– (–)
Kira Toussaint– (–)
Femke Heemskerk– (–)
Marrit Steenbergen– (–)
5Great BritainGBR
Anna Hopkin– (–)
Abbie Wood– (–)
Lucy Hope– (–)
Freya Anderson– (–)
Sarah Sjöström– (–)
Michelle Coleman– (–)
Louise Hansson– (–)
Sophie Hansson– (–)
Sara Junevik– (–)
7People's Republic of ChinaCHN
Cheng Yujie– (–)
Zhu Menghui– (–)
Ai Yanhan– (–)
Wu Qingfeng– (–)
Pernille Blume– (–)
Signe Bro– (–)
Julie Jensen– (–)
Jeanette Ottesen Gray– (–)
Chihiro Igarashi– (–)
Rikako Ikee– (–)
Natsumi Sakai– (–)
Rika Omoto– (–)
Béryl Gastaldello– (–)
Charlotte Bonnet– (–)
Margaux Fabre– (–)
Anouchka Martin– (–)
11Russian Olympic CommitteeROC
Darya Ustinova– (–)
Arina Surkova– (–)
Yelizaveta Klevanovich– (–)
Veronika Andrusenko– (–)
Larissa Oliveira– (–)
Ana Vieira– (–)
Etiene Medeiros– (–)
Stephanie Balduccini– (–)
Lisa Höpink– (–)
Annika Bruhn– (–)
Marie Pietruschka– (–)
Hannah Küchler– (–)
14Czech RepublicCZE
Barbora Seemanová– (–)
Kristýna Horská– (–)
Barbora Janíčková– (–)
Anika Apostalon– (–)
15Hong Kong, ChinaHKG
Tam Hoi Lam– (–)
Camille Cheng– (–)
Stephanie Au– (–)
Tinky Ho– (–)