U.S. women win gold in 4×200-meter freestyle relay

United States' Melanie Margalis competes in a heat of the women's 200-meter individual medley during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Katie Ledecky won her fourth Olympic medal of the Rio Games on Wednesday night, a gold medal alongside Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith and Maya DiRado in the 4x200m freestyle relay. Ledecky raced the anchor leg to stop the clock at seven minutes, 43.03 seconds.

Australia’s squad claimed second, nearly two seconds back in 7:44.87; followed by the quartet from Canada for the bronze with a time of 7:45.39.

The U.S. women have traditionally won gold in this event, which was introduced in 1996; they won captured the Olympic title in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2012 and came away with the bronze in 2008.

Ledecky and Smith will race in Thursday’s preliminaries of the 800m freestyle, where Ledecky will look to defend her 2012 gold, her only medal of those Games. DiRado will also be back in the water Thursday, where she will join defending 2012 gold medalist Missy Franklin in the heats of the 200m backstroke.

Franklin, Melanie Margalis and Cierra Runge, who raced in the qualifying heats of the relay, are also eligible to collect gold medals.

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