LONDON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- 200 meters individual freestyle gold medalist Alison Schmitt swam a phenomenal final leg to give the US the gold medal in the women'200 meter freestyle relay on Wednesday and shave almost one and a half seconds off the Olympic record with a time of 2.42.92..
Schmitt was simply too strong for Australian Alicia Coutts over the final 200 meters and despite having started her leg with a slight led, Coutts and her companions had to settle for silver, while the French took bronze.
The Chinese went into the race as the world record holders, with a team of Ye Shiwen,Wang Shijia,Liu Jing and Tang Yi finished sixth.
Qualifying times count for little in relays as team often make changes between the semifinals and the final and that was the case for the Chinese, Australians and the Americans.
200 meters freestyle champion, Schmitt swam the anchor for the Americans, while Missy Franklin also came into the four strong team.
Franklin gave the American's a strong leadout but tired in the last lap and was overhauled by Australian Barratt Bronte and Frances' Camille Moffat.
Ye swam the second lap for China, but was unable to close on the leaders and as the French faded, it began to boil down to a tussel between Australia and the US.
Kylie Palmer worked tremendously hard to try and give Alicia Coutts a lead to take against Schmitt and Coutts began with a short lead, but soon evaporated as Schmitt began powering her way to victory and her second gold medal of these Games.