In 2000, the Aussies won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay on home soil. At the Athens Olympics in 2004, it was the South African squad that wore the olive branch crowns and gold medals. In 2008, the U.S. upset France by 0.08 seconds, but France got revenge and claimed gold in 2012.
It took the U.S. team, made up of Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian, three minutes, 9.92 seconds to win the 4x100m freestyle relay title at the Rio Olympics. It took setting a world record to win at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
At the Rio Olympics, the U.S. quartet got back on top of the podium, out-touching the team from France by about a second and a half. Phelps earned his 19th career Olympic gold medal with the victory.
Held was the only holdover from Sunday morning’s qualifying relay team. Adrian, the 2012 Olympic champ in the 100m freestyle, and Dressel, an Olympic rookie, will race in the heats of the 100m freestyle beginning Tuesday.
As participants on the preliminary heat relay team, Anthony Ervin, Blake Pieroni and Jimmy Feigen are also eligible for the gold medal.
France clocked 3:10.53 for the silver medal and Australia rounded out the podium with the bronze medals with a time of 3:11.37.