Leah's silver Olympic success: Ipswich can celebrate
DELIGHTED Ipswich swimmer Leah Neale is celebrating her first Olympic medal after sharing in Australia's 4x200m freestyle relay success today.
Neale swam the first leg for the Aussie team which finished with a silver medal behind the powerful United States team.
"It's crazy. It's surreal,'' Neale told the Seven Network.
"We have heard we had medal potential and to come away with that was pretty amazing.''
The silver success provided a double celebration for Neale who enjoyed her 21st birthday on arriving in Rio last week.
Her medal is the first by an Ipswich swimmer in recent memory.
The Australian team of Neale, Emma McKeon, Bronte Barratt and teenager Tamsin Cook clocked seven minutes, 44.87 seconds behind the US (7:43.03). Canada collected the bronze (7:45.39).
Although Neale was out of the placings when she finished her 200m swim, she had set the Aussies up after a personal best effort in the heat this morning.
In her first event in the Rio pool, Neale led off the Aussie 4x200m team which won its heat and qualified second fastest for the final.
It was Neale's sizzling one minute, 57.35 second effort, which earned her a spot in the final.
Neale is Ipswich's first Olympic Games swimmer since Heath Ramsay represented Australia in the 200m butterfly at the Sydney 2000 Games.
Other Ipswich swimmers to have competed at Olympics include backstroker Dick Orbell (1984 Los Angeles Games) and 800m freestyler Rosemary Milgate (fourth in 1976 at Montreal).