LONDON — Natalie Coughlin might not have to rely on her relay teammates to secure her record 12th Olympic medal.
Coughlin posted the fastest time of any U.S. swimmer in the 400-meter freestyle relay qualifying on Saturday morning, putting her in position to swim in the relay final Saturday night. The Americans are expected to replace the two slowest swimmers in the morning relay for the evening finals.
Jessica Hardy and Missy Franklin, who went 1-2 in the 100 freestyle at the Olympic trials, are expected to swim in the Saturday night relay finals.
Coughlin, the bronze medalist in the 100 free in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, finished sixth in the event at the Olympic trials, salvaging the last spot on the relay team with a time of 54.44 seconds. Hardy won in 53.96 seconds.