Australia's Para swim relay silver stands

Australia won women's 4x100m freestyle relay silver after a controversial final at the Paralympics.
Australia won women's 4x100m freestyle relay silver after a controversial final at the Paralympics.

The Australian silver-medal winning women's swimming relay team will receive their medals 24 hours later than expected after a controversial final.

Ellie Cole, Isabella Vincent, Emily Beecroft and Ashleigh McConnell initially finished third in Sunday night's 4x100m freestyle final behind the United States and Italy.

But the Americans and fourth-placed British were disqualified soon afterwards for illegal changeovers, meaning Canada were awarded the bronze after touching the wall in fifth place.

Cole's best Wile E Coyote impression on the pool deck - eyes and mouth wide open - summed up the stunned collective reaction to the disqualifications at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

After the race referee denied a protest, an appeal was lodged and this was also unsuccessful.

But the protest meant the medal presentation was delayed until Monday night's finals session.

It is Cole's first medal at the Tokyo Games and she joins fellow swimmer Priya Cooper on 16, the most won by an Australian woman at the Paralympics.

Cole has won six gold, five silver and five bronze in four Paralympics.

Australian Associated Press