UVA’s Paige Madden helps U.S. to silver in 4×200 free relay
Virginia’s Paige Madden became the fourth UVA swimmer in Tokyo to make a podium appearance at the Tokyo Olympic Games, helping the United States 4×200 freestyle relay team win the silver medal on Thursday.
When Madden dove into the pool for the second leg of the relay, the U.S. team was in fourth place behind Canada after teammate Allison Schmitt’s opening leg of the race. During her final 100 meters, Madden moved the American squad into third place, swimming a split of 1:55.2.
During the third leg Katie McLaughlin maintained the U.S. team’s position, and then Katie Ledecky overtook the Australia team during her swim and finished just four-tenths of a second behind the winning team from China.
The United States team posted a time of 7:40.73, just behind China’s world record time of 7:40.33. Australia, the pre-race favorites, placed third at 7:41.29. All three podium teams bettered the previous world record time for the event.
“It was awesome,” Madden said after the race. “This is like a dream.”
Madden’s silver medal means that all four UVA swimmers in Tokyo made podium appearances during the swimming competition. Incoming first-year Emma Weyant took the silver medal in the 400IM, while Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass captured silver and bronze medals, respectively in the 200-meter individual medley.
Virginia head coach Todd DeSorbo, who led the UVA women’s team to its first NCAA Championship this year, was an assistant coach for USA Swimming at the Games.