Not even the favored British were taking a bite out of this Big Apple.
Zach Apple handled the anchor freestyle leg — and Great Britain — as the United States pulled away to win the men’s 400-meter medley relay and set a world record Sunday morning as Olympic swimming closed at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.
The Americans’ time was 3:26.78, decisively beating Great Britain’s silver swim of 3:27.51.
The United States has never lost this relay at an Olympics, raising its record to 15-0.
It was the second time the 6-foot-7 Apple, an Indiana University graduate, anchored Team USA to a gold medal. He also did so in the 400 freestyle relay.
IU’s Blake Pieroni gets a second gold, too, because he swam in prelims of the medley relay. The United States used four different swimmers in prelims, and the team barely made the cut to eight finalists.
The previous world record was 3:27.28, set by a U.S. team in 2009, and previous Olympic record 3:27.95 by the U.S. in 2016.
The outcome allowed Dressel to leave Tokyo with five gold medals. Earlier in the night, he set an Olympic record of 21.07 in the 50 freestyle, joining Michael Phelps and IU’s Mark Spitz as the only men to win three individual golds in swimming.
U.S. splits: Ryan Murphy, backstroke, 52.31; Michael Andrew, breaststroke, 58.49; Dressel, butterfly, 49.03; Apple, freestyle, 46.95.
It was the first medal for Andrew, who had endured a rocky Olympics until now.
In the women’s 400 medley relay, Lilly King came away with her fifth Olympic medal and third from Tokyo. King was in prelims, and those swimmers earn the same medal as those in the final.
Australia came from behind to set an Olympic record of 3:51.60, just 0.13 ahead of the Americans.
The Aussies’ Emma McKeon, who set an Olympic record of 23.79 in winning the 50 freestyle earlier in the morning, increased her medal haul to seven. That equals the most ever by any woman in any sport.
IU has produced 10 Tokyo medals in swimming and diving: two golds each by Apple and Pieroni in relays; silvers by Michael Hixon, Andrew Capobianco and Jessica Parratto in synchronized diving, and a silver in the 200 breaststroke, silver in the medley relay and bronze in the 100 breaststroke by King.
Contact IndyStar reporter David Woods at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidWoods007.