Swimming Recap – Day 6

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Team USA dominated YET AGAIN yesterday in the pool!  Apologies for the delayed update, but hey, even bloggers need a day to themselves. Here’s a recap of how the Americans performed on Day 6.

Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final

Advantage: Michael Phelps in the final head-to-head battle between the greatest Olympian of all-time and his anointed successor, Ryan Lochte. Phelps had allowed Lochte to take and maintain the lead in their semifinal heat on the breaststroke, but there would be none of that Thursday as Phelps lead from start to finish, clinching his third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley.

The race begins with the butterfly, Phelps’ best stroke, before transitioning into a 50m backstroke, which is Lochte’s best stroke. The final two lengths of the pool are breaststroke followed by freestyle. Phelps led Lochte by 0.63 seconds at the finish. Brazil’s Thiago Pereira overtook Lochte on the backstroke for second place and held that slot before giving the silver back to Lochte on the final length of the pool. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, always a force in the pool, wavered in the standings the entire race before clinching the bronze a half-second ahead of Pereira.

The final race of Phelps’ career will be the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final on Saturday if the Americans qualify from the semifinals.

Men’s 200m Backstroke Final

Does Lochte have a firm grip on future American glory in the pool? Don’t tell that to Tyler Clary, who set an Olympic record time of 1:53.41 in the Men’s 200m Backstroke Final, clinching gold ahead of Japan’s Ryosuke Irie. Clary gained ground on each length of the pool, from the fourth position at the 50m touch, third at the 100m and second at the 150m. Lochte led Clary and Irie all the way through the 150m touch at the wall, but was a half-second behind Clary for the bronze.

Women’s 200m Breaststroke Final

It was a thrilling, global record-setting Women’s 200m Breaststroke Final. First, finishing third for the bronze medal, Russia’s Iuliia Efimova set a European record time of 2:20.92. Finishing second was Japan’s Satomi Suzuki, who equaled the standing Asian record with a time of 2:20.72. But the story for the second-straight day was USA’s Rebecca Soni, who set an American, Olympic and new World Record with a time of 2:19.59, nearly a half-second better than the world record she set in the previous night’s semifinals. Soni added the medal to her silver from the 100m Breaststroke.

Women’s 100m Freestyle Final

American Jessica Hardy was in position for bronze in the Women’s 100m Freestyle at the 50m turn, but she faltered to finish last in the field. Missy Franklin is apparently human after all, though she recovered from last at the turn to finish fifth. Dutch swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjo won gold with an Olympic Record time, Belarus’  Aliaksandra Herasimenia won silver and China’s Tang Yi won bronze.

Men’s 50m Freestyle Semifinals

American swimmers Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin both qualified for the Men’s 50m Freestyle Final, which will air tonight on NBC in prime time.

Men’s 100m Butterfly Semifinals

Phelps and Tyler McGill qualified first and third for the Men’s 100m Butterfly Final, also to air this evening.

Women’s 200m Backstroke Semifinals

Franklin looks to continue her incredible run at the London Games tonight in the Women’s 200m Backstroke Final, along with teammate Elizabeth Beisel. The pair posted the top two qualifying times.

Women’s 800m Freestyle Qualification

Team USA’s Katie Ledecky led every lap of her qualifying heat and posted the third-best time in the Women’s 800m Freestyle prelims. She’ll swim for the gold medal today.

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