Ervin, US qualify for 400 free relay finals

Andrew Cummings
August 8, 2016

Stanford's Lia Neal, Allison Schmitt, and Amanda Weir will also receive silvers.

After an opening night of swimming saw the United States shut out of gold, Ledecky is poised to change that on Sunday.

The U.S. relay swimmers limbered up for what promises to be a knife-edge battle with Australia by beating their old rivals in their heat, but they will have to watch out for Russian Federation whose time in the other grouping was fastest overall.

So goes the daily cycle during these strangest of Olympic swim sessions, with their contorted, TV-mandated start times - 1 p.m. prelims, 10 p.m. finals, Rio time - that ask swimmers conditioned all their lives to early-morning workouts and early evening races to become night owls.

"Coming off the 100 yesterday had to remind myself this is not a 100 so didn't want to spin my wheels too much", she said. "We just wanted to give the Australians a fight".

He qualified in six events at the USA trials, but with three relays on his plate dropped the 200m backstroke for an eight-race slate. Set goals that, when you set them, you think they're impossible.

"I never wanted to be on a relay team so badly", she told reporters.

As the veteran US racer Dana Vollmer said of Ledecky, "She is absolutely a fighter".

"Freestyle is not my best stroke so I tried to keep it as close as possible", Kalisz said. "I mean I'm not a natural freestyler - it's not bad for a fly guy". "I know that's how I swim my 400 the best, when I can really be strong on the end".

Ledecky is favored to win as many as four gold medals in her other events this Olympics.

Phelps's Olympic career reached it zenith in Beijing, where the 23-year-old not only won eight gold medals in eight events-the most ever by a competitor at a single Games-he set world records in seven of his races in the process.

Nine years after her introduction to the sport, Ledecky was an Olympian, representing Team USA as its youngest member (15 years, 4 months and 10 days) at the 2012 London Games.

"Last time she was not a leader because she was just the new kid and we were all just admiring her times in practice going "Holy mackerel, she might pull the biggest upset in London" and she did..."

"I was very nervous, my mind wasn't where it was supposed to be", he said. "She has that awesome ability to change her rhythm for each race, and she's a fighter".

Armitstead's appearance at the Rio Games was thrown into doubt after she missed three drugs tests - but won her appeal and escaped a ban.

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