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Dutch end long wait for relay gold Women's 4*100m freeestyle relay




The Netherlands ended a wait of 72 years when its dashing quartet won the women’s 4x100m  relay in the iconic Water Cube at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Femke Heemskerk and Marleen Veldhuis fended off the advances of reigning champions Australia and favourites the United States.

The foursome had emerged into a powerful force in the event and were looking to end an unlucky run for the Dutch which had seen them just missing out on gold by taking bronze in Athens and silver in Sydney.

It was at the European championships in Eindhoven earlier in the year that they confirmed themselves as genuine gold medal contenders.

They recorded a world-record time of 3 minutes 33.62secs on their home soil in Eindhoven and the question was whether they could convert that form on the biggest stage of them all.

The quartet, minus the in-form Veldhuis, qualified fourth fastest for the final and to the delight of the home crowd it was China who recorded the fastest time.

Come the final and it was the German quartet, spearheaded by double sprint gold winner Britta Steffen, that flew out of the blocks that led after the opening 100m.

However Kromowidjojo and Heemskerk ground out a 1.5m lead by the time Veldhuis, joint 6th in the individual final, took over. The team never looked by being reeled in.

American veteran Dana Torres was tasked with anchoring for the United States, who broke their national best mark, yet it was a forlorn hope as the Dutch claimed an Olympic record of 3 minutes 33.76.

The first three swimmers roared Veldhuis on from the sidelines and looked with disbelief as the scoreboard confirmed the first Dutch win in the event since the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.


43 Highlights

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Katerina Emmons - women’s 10m air rifle
  • Salukvadze, Pederina praised for gesture
  • Dutch end long wait for relay gold
  • Korean archery domination continues
  • Aussies edge Americans in scintillating relay
  • India's first individual gold medal
  • Coughlin again thwarts fast-finishing Coventry
  • Benjamin Boukpeti
  • Rice hits golden hat-trick in 4x200m relay
  • Phelps rewrites Olympic record books
  • China wins maiden team gymnastics gold
  • Steffen completes comeback with golden double
  • Andrunache emerges from Ignat’s shadow
  • The oldest winner of the women’s table tennis singles
  • Lightning Bolt electrifies Bird’s Nest
  • Roger Federer
  • British foursome continue Redgrave’s legacy
  • Zagunis leads U.S. clean sweep in sabre
  • Guo glitters in Water Cube
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Fraser leads unique Jamaican treble
  • Rebecca Romero
  • Reborn Taylor takes second hurdles title
  • Incredible Lezak puts Phelps on road to eight golds
  • Hoy joins cycling greats
  • Liukin follows in father’s footsteps
  • Jones heartbreak evokes Devers as Harper takes gold
  • IOC’s helping hand guides Nikpai to bronze
  • Bolt overcomes Johnson’s legendary 200m mark
  • Japan rock U.S. with softball win
  • Chausson, Strombergs grab first BMX golds
  • Campbell-Brown retains 200m crown
  • Steve Hooker
  • Jamaican foursome break world record
  • Perfect Walsh, May-Treanor star on the sand
  • Hellebaut raises the bar in battle with Vlasic
  • Korea ends baseball’s Olympic era with Cuban upset
  • Hungary secure stunning water polo hat-trick
  • Party atmosphere as curtain drawn on Beijing
  • Kanayeva waltzes to rhythmic gold
  • Mighty France thwart giantkillers Iceland
  • US restores basketball pride