Aussies win women's 4x100m relay gold

Australia have won the gold medal in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay at the London Olympics.

The Australian quartet of Cate Campbell, Melanie Schlanger, Brittany Elmslie and Alicia Coutts won Saturday night's final, with the Netherlands second and the United States taking the bronze.

Australia left evergreen Libby Trickett out of its team for the final despite the 27-year-old swimming a strong leg in the morning heat.

Photos: Inspirational moments: Olympic celebrations

But Australian hierarchy preferred rising star Elmslie for the final after the 18-year-old produced the fastest leg in the heat.

The decision was vindicated with Elmslie part of the winning team in a time of 3m38:45s.

Trickett will still get her fourth Olympic gold medal however, with fellow heat swimmers Emily Seebohm and Yolane Kukla also to receive gold medals despite not racing the final.

Australia's decision to leave the veteran swimmer out of the team was vindicated as 18-year-old Elmslie did well to give Australia a strong chance heading into the final 100m.

But Schlanger was the star of the show as she clocked a brilliant final leg of 52.65 to fend off Dutch star Romy Kromowidjojo, who sizzled home in 51.93.

"I was really able to put together a good race and that's the only way Olympic gold medals are won," Schlanger said.

"There's no better feeling than that.

"When everyone can fire on the day, that's what Olympic gold is made of."

It was Australia's first win in the event since a team featuring Trickett won gold at the Athens Games in 2004.

It also augured well for Australia's men's 4x100m freestyle relay team, which is hot favourite to win gold on Sunday night.

Campbell joked the women had now set the standard for James Magnussen and co.

"I think that we've just given them something to reach for, don't you think?

"They're reigning world champions but we're reigning Olympic champions. They'll have to wait to join us."

Trickett will still get her fourth Olympic gold medal, with all seven swimmers to receive one after Emily Seebohm and Yolane Kukla also took part in the heats.

Trickett was left out after Elmslie earned her spot with a quicker time in the morning heats, bringing an end to the veteran's London campaign as it was the only event she had qualified for.

Elmslie said she felt for Trickett but relieved she got the job done.

"Libby's such a great athlete and she'll always have earned the respect of Australia as she's done everything in the past and she's had the experience," Elmslie said.

"I just did my own thing in the heat and the coaches decided the end decision and I'm just happy that I could to Australia proud."

Day 1 highlights: Relay team wins first goldAustralia's women's 4x100m freestyle relay team broke the Olympic record on their way to winning our first gold of the Games.