Former IU swimmers Blake Pieroni and Zach Apple win Olympic gold medals in 4×100 freestyle relay

It is one of the more historically successful teams at the Summer Olympics, and in 2021 half of the United States’ 4×100 men’s freestyle relay team has roots in Bloomington.

On Sunday night in Tokyo, former IU swimmers Blake Pieroni and Zach Apple did their part and delivered the school’s 56th and 57th all-time gold medals.  Overall, the United States men won in decisive fashion, delivering the fastest swim in the event in 13 years.

Caeleb Dressel came out fast for the Americans, leading the way with a 47.26 split as he handed off Pieroni.

Pieroni maintained the lead in 47.58, as did Bowe Becker (47.44), though the Italians closed to with .20 seconds as Apple was set to anchor the race for Team USA.

Despite the push from Italy, Apple delivered in a big way for the Americans with a 46.69 split to bring them in for a time of 3:08.97 and a win by more than a second.

Pieroni won his second gold medal, repeating as a member of the 4×100 freestyle relay team that won in Rio in 2016.  This was Apple’s first Olympic event.  The pair became the first IU teammates since John Murphy and Mark Spitz (1972) to win Olympic gold in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

Overall the United States has won the 4×100 freestyle relay ten times.  The event has been an Olympic event 13 times since 1964.

Italy claimed the silver medal in the event while Australia won the bronze.

  1. GOLD: United States, 3:08.97
  2. SILVER: Italy, 3:10.11
  3. BRONZE: Australia, 3:10.22
  4. Canada, 3:10.82
  5. Hungary, 3:11.06
  6. France, 3:11.09
  7. ROC, 3:12.20
  8. Brazil, 3:13.41

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