Leah Neale's swim leads Aussie charge: See how she did it
GLOWING with pride, Ipswich swimmer Leah Neale swam a personal best to lead another Australia medal charge at the Rio Olympics.
In her first event in the Rio pool this morning, Neale led off the Aussie 4x200m freestyle relay team which won its heat and qualified second fastest for this afternoon's final.
Neale's sizzling one minute, 57.35 second effort puts her in contention for an Olympic medal if she retains her spot in the Australian team for today's 12.55pm (Qld time) final.
She put the Aussies in front after her first leg 200m swim, before teammates Bronte Barratt, Tamsin Cook and Jessica Ashwood finished the job.
"I'm really happy with that,'' the Newtown-based achiever told Channel Seven after her superb performance.
"I just went out there today to get a good swim in.
"I just wanted to get in front for the girls.''
Neale did that in style, launching the relay team in lane 3. She pushed hard in the third 50m to build a handy advantage for her teammates.
Australia's winning heat one time of seven minutes, 49.24 seconds qualified the freestylers second fastest for the final behind heat two winners, the USA (7:47.77).
Neale has an anxious wait this morning to see if she is part of the Aussie contingent contesting the final. Only two of the heat team will join Maddie Groves and Emma McKeon in the final.
However, the beaming Ipswich achiever did all she could, showing great team spirit and giving Australia a perfect start in the heat.
Neale, who turned 21 in Rio, is Ipswich's first Olympic Games swimmer since Heath Ramsay represented Australia in the 200m butterfly at the Sydney 2000 Games.