RIO DE JANEIRO — Katie Ledecky’s dream of five gold medals is gone. She’ll just have to settle for tying the American record instead.
Ledecky and teammates Abby Weitzeil, Simone Manuel and Dana Vollmer won a silver medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay at the Rio Games on Saturday night, finishing behind the Australian team that earlier in the day set the Olympic record in qualifying and then broke the world record in the final with a time of 3:30:65.
Ledecky was unable to close the gap swimming the anchor as the Americans finished with a time of 3:31:89. With Weitzeil and Manuel fresh after not racing in qualifying – and Vollmer fresh off racing in the 100-meter butterfly semifinals a little more than an hour earlier – the American women, expected to dominate the medal stand in Rio, scored another medal after Maya DiRado nabbed a silver in the 400 individual medley.
While she normally specializes in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle, the 19-year-old Ledecky held her own in the shorter distance, which bodes well for her 200-meter race and 4×200-meter relay. Teammate Missy Franklin and Amy Van Dyken hold the American record for golds in a single Olympics with four, while East German swimmer Kristin Otto, who has been accused of doping, owns the record with six golds at the Seoul Games in 1988.