Ledecky Brings Home Gold for US in Freestyle Relay - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
2016 Rio Olympic Games

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Ledecky Brings Home Gold for US in Freestyle Relay

Phelps, Lochte qualified for the 200 IM final and will face off Thursday



    Ledecky Brings Home Gold for US in Freestyle Relay
    Denver Post via Getty Images
    Katie Ledecky is greeted by teammates (from left) Allison Schmitt, Maya DiRado and Leah Smith after anchoring them to a come-from-behind win during the women's 4x 200-meter freestyle relay final at Rio 2016 on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016.

    Katie Ledecky won her third gold medal of the Rio Olympics, leading the United States to yet another in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay Wednesday night.

    She took over for the final leg with the U.S. almost a second behind Australia. She passed Tamsin Cook in the second 50-meter stretch and pulled away from there. The US finished a staggering 1.84 seconds ahead of Australia and Canada won bronze.

    Allison Schmitt — who won her fourth gold medal and eighth overall in three Olympics — led the Americans off. She was followed by Leah Smith and Maya DiRado, who kept the US within striking distance but couldn't take the lead. 

    "I had no doubt," Schmitt said. "I have complete faith in these three."

    Especially the 19-year-old Ledecky, who has already won the 200 and 400 individual freestyle races and still has her best event, the 800 left to go.

    She brought them home with a time 2.49 seconds faster than any of her teammates. 

    The United States has won this event in five out of the six Olympics at which it has been staged. Missy Franklin, who has been having a disappointing Rio, will get a medal because she swam in prelims, though she was left off the American team in the final.

    Earlier, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte ensured they would contest their rivalry one last time.

    The Americans qualified 1-2 for the final of the 200-meter individual medley on Wednesday night, setting up a showdown for the gold medal. 

    Phelps is aiming for his fourth straight gold in the event. Lochte has two silvers and a bronze since they both first swam the event in 2004 in Athens, along with four world championships.

    "We bring the best out in each other," Lochte said. "Any time I can get out and race him, it's the best." 

    The duo led the U.S. men's relay team to gold in the 4x200 freestyle on Tuesday night. 

    Earlier, swimmers Josh Prenot and Nathan Adrian added to the United States' medal haul. 

    Nathan Adrian got bronze in the men's 100-meter freestyle and Prenot took a silver in the 200 breaststroke on Wednesday night behind Lane 8 upset winner Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan.

    Anton Chupkov of Russia won bronze in that race. In the 100 free, Australian Kyle Chalmers won and Pieter Timmers got silver ahead of Adrian's bronze, which gave the US 20 medals in Rio.

    Americans Cammile Adams and Hali Flickinger missed medaling in the 200-meter butterfly Wednesday night, when Spain's Mireia Belmonte won in 2:04.85. Madeline Groves won silver ahead of Natsumi Hoshi of Japan. Adams was 0.70 seconds behind Hoshi, in 2:05.90.

    Nathan Adrian will also try to defend his 100-meter Olympic title in the freestyle final. He'll be up against Australia's Cameron McEvoy, who swam half a second faster than Adrian has ever gone during the trials in Australia. 

    Americans Simone Manuel and Abbey Weitzeil advanced to the final of the 100-meter freestyle, along with favorite and world-record holder Cate Campbell of Australia.

    Ryan Murphy and teammate Jacob Pebley advanced to the 200-meter backstroke final. But Molly Hannis and Lilly King both missed making the final for the 200 breaststroke.