The team of Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt, Kylie Palmer and Linda MacKenzie won Australia’s first gold medal in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay at the Beijing Games in 2008. Australia had qualified for the final with the sixth fastest time, but the heat swimmers of Felicity Galvez, Angie Bainbridge, Melanie Schlanger and Lara Davenport were replaced by a new quartet.
The result was still seen as somewhat of a surprise, with the highly fancied Americans finishing third behind Australia and China. The winning time of 7:44.31 shattered the old world record, held by the United States, by almost six seconds. The first four teams, with Italy in fourth place, swam inside the pre-race world record.
At the London Games in 2012 Barratt added to her relay medal with an individual podium finish in the 200m freestyle. She qualified fastest for the final in a time of 1:56.08 and went on to claim a bronze beat American Missy Franklin (4th) into third by 0.01 seconds. Barratt swum faster than her semi-final with a time of 1:55.81, but could not match Alison Schmitt of the USA who set a new Olympic record 2.20 seconds quicker than the Australia. France’s Camille Muffat won the silver.
Barratt backed up the following night looking to defend her Olympic 4x200m freestyle relay title with Kylie Palmer, Melanie Schlanger and Alicia Coutts. Barratt led off the Australians who matched it with the eventual gold medallists the USA for 700 metres before they pulled away from Coutts. Palmer’s lead-off leg of 1:55.76 set the Australians up perfectly. The team went on to win the silver in a time of 7:44.41, 1.49 seconds behind the USA who also set a new Olympic record.
Earlier in the Games Barratt failed to qualify for the final of the 400m freestyle.