RIO DE JANEIRO — Katie Ledecky was the fastest swimmer in the pool, and she brought her American teammates along for the ride.
Ledecky, 19, turned in another overpowering performance to carry the United States to victory in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay late Wednesday, capturing her third gold and fourth medal overall at the Rio Olympics.
The U.S. trailed through the first three legs of the race, as Sweden, China and then Australia swapped the top spot.
Then, it was Ledecky’s turn on the anchor leg.
Schmitt, Maya DiRado and Leah Smith joined Ledecky on the podium.
The U.S. finished in 7 minutes, 43.03 seconds, with Ledecky a full body length ahead of Tamsin Cook, who touched in 7:44.87 to give Australia the silver. Canada took the bronze in 7:45.39.
And get this: Ledecky’s relay time was only one-hundredth of a second slower than her winning time in the 200 free the previous night.
“It’s good consistency, I guess,” she said nonchalantly.
The teenager from suburban Washington has one more race to go, and it might be the biggest lock of all. She’s the world-record holder and defending Olympic champion in the 800 free.
According to ESPN Stats Information research, the U.S. has won five of six gold medals in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the Olympics since the event was introduced in 1996.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.