French Fried: Lochte, USA Concede Lead, Gold to France Relay Team

Revenge is a dish best served cold, in chlorinated water, aged over four years.

The French swim team feasted Sunday night in London, winning the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay, defeating the USA by four-tenths of a second. The French victory was the opposite result of the everlasting image of Jason Lezak chasing down Alain Bernard to win the gold for the USA in this same event in Beijing in 2008.

The American team held the lead virtually from the get-go, as Michael Phelps swam the second leg and extended the lead bequeathed to him by Nathan Adrian to three-quarters of a second. Phelps performed a remarkable turn after his first 50m and extended his lead by going for distance under the water off the wall. Cullen Jones, the third leg in 2008, largely preserved the lead, though he gave some ground back to the pursuing French. It was then up to Lochte, who could not hold off France’s anchor down the final stretch, giving way in the last 25 meters and finishing second for the silver.

What will America now say about wonder boy Lochte? If you want to bash these Olympic heroes while they’re down as was the case with Phelps yesterday, then Lochte is equally guilty of choking today. In my opinion, the French simply outswam the Americans today, and there’s no necessity in pointing blame or crying foul over a silver medal.

This marks the first time since I believe the 2000 Sydney Olympics that the USA men did not win gold in the 4 x 100m free.


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