First Medal Secured
TOKYO – Abbey Weitzeil gave Cal its first medal of the Tokyo Olympics when the Golden Bear alum helped the United States to a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay Saturday night Pacific Time.
Weitzeil handled the second leg for the Americans and produced the fastest split among her teammates by covering her 100 meters in 52.68 seconds. Her swim moved the U.S. up from sixth place to fourth. Erika Brown led off, while Weitzeil handed off to Natalie Hinds and Simone Manuel took anchor duties. The foursome reached the wall in 3:32.81.
Australia was a heavy favorite entering the race and showed why by setting a world record in 3:29.69. Canada just out-touched the U.S. in 3:32.78.
For Weitzeil, this marks her third career Olympic medal after claiming a silver on the 400 free relay and gold on the 400 medley relay at the Rio Games in 2016. She has two individual races ahead of her in Tokyo – the 50 free and 100 free – and could find herself on another relay before the swimming competition concludes.
During the first day of prelims, alum Farida Osman (Egypt) placed 20th in the 100 butterfly, while alums Camille Cheng and Stephanie Au swam on Hong Kong's 15th-place 400 free relay.
Eight women's swimmers from Cal are competing in the Olympics this week, with rising senior Ema Rajic (100 breaststroke) and alum Stephanie Au (100 backstroke) the next to race early Sunday morning Pacific Time.