“Yo Adrian! You Did It!” Team USA Wins Golds, Breaks World Record In Pool

If he had been subjected to the same nailbiting experience as those who watched his race, Nathan Adrian may be wearing a silver medal tonight instead of his gold.

Adrian won his second gold medal of the London Olympics by a fingernail as Americans won the Men’s 100m Freestyle and Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay finals Wednesday, with Rebecca Soni also claiming the world record in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke in her semifinal swim. Spectators also saw a lane-to-lane duel between American superstars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley semis.

Men’s 100m Freestyle Final

Adrian, a Bremerton, Wash., native nicknamed “Bok Choi,” won the 100m Free by a mere one one-hundredth of a second with a 47.52 time, overtaking Brazil’s Cesar Celo and Canada’s Brent Hayden after the 50m turn while fending off the rest of the field down the last length of the pool. He tapped the wall just ahead of Australia’s James “The Missile” Magnussen, who himself came back from fifth at the turn. Hayden settled for bronze.

Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

Team USA fielded a stacked lineup in the Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay final, featuring three swimmers who have already won gold medals at these Games.

It was Allison Schmitt to the rescue on the anchor leg, chasing down the Aussies to give the Americans the gold in Olympic record-fashion with a 7:42.92 time. Australia led from the end of the second leg through the third leg. Missy Franklin led off and won the first split, but handed a third place time off to Dana Vollmer. Vollmer retook the lead on her first lap but finished her leg with Team USA in second. Shannon Vreeland, competing in her first Olympics, preserved the Americans’ second-place standing on the third leg before giving way to Schmitt, who posted the Americans’ fastest split times, catching and fending off Australia’s Alicia Coutts to clinched the gold. Schmitt’s relay split was the second-fastest in history.

Men’s 200m Breaststroke Final

Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta took no chances on his way to a gold medal, setting the men’s 200m breaststroke world record with a time of 2:07.28.  Brit Michael Jamieson wowed the home crowd by claiming silver, finishing only .15 seconds behind Gyurta. Japan’s Ryo Tateishi took bronze.

American swimmers Scott Weltz and Clark Burckle never contended for a medal, finishing

Women’s 200m Butterfly Final

The Chinese women’s swim team has been as much of a story as Team USA in London, and it continued its winning ways Wednesday as Jiao Liuyang set an Olympic record and won the gold medal by 1.19 seconds ahead of silver medalist Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain. Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi won bronze.

American swimmers were not a threat to medal until the last 50 meters, when Kathleen Hersey made a run after Hoshi. She finished fourth, .3 seconds off the podium. Cammile Adams was at the back of the field for most of the race but rallied to finish fifth.

Women’s 200m Breaststroke Semifinals

Even though her race was just a semifinal, Soni left it all in the pool, setting a world record time of 2:20.00 and leading many to wonder what she would do for an encore in the final, to be swum tomorrow at 1:40 p.m. CT. Soni finished more than two seconds ahead of the next-fastest time by Danish swimmer Rikke Pedersen. American Micah Lawrence, making her London debut, also qualified for the final in the sixth position.

Women’s 100m Freestyle Semifinals

Franklin looks to continue her amazing performance at the games by medaling in tomorrow’s 100m Freestyle final, scheduled for 2:37 p.m. CT. Franklin qualified third out of the semis, with American Jessica Hardy joining her out of the last qualifying spot.

Men’s 200m Individual Medley Semifinals

As potentially his greatest competition for the 200m individual medley, Phelps kept his eyes on Lochte the entire semifinals – literally. Lochte and Phelps swam in adjacent lanes in the first semifinal heat, with Phelps maintaining the lead through both the butterfly and backstroke legs. Lochte took the lead on the breaststroke, and Phelps elected to coast to the wall in the freestyle instead of giving chase, qualifying third. Lochte posted the top qualifying time, while Hungary’s Lasclo Cseh beat out Phelps for the second spot.

Men’s 200m Backstroke Semifinals

Lochte may be the brand name in the backstroke, but Tyler Clary’s stock is also rising. The American outswam his more famous teammate by more than half a second in taking the top qualifying spot in tomorrow’s 200m backstroke final, set for 1:48 p.m. Lochte qualified in the second position.

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Phelps Becomes Greatest Olympian of All-Time with Gold in 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay

Michael Phelps stands alone as the greatest – or most prolific, you call it – Olympic athlete of all time. No modern Olympic athlete, in any sport, Summer or Winter, from any country, ever, has won more medals than Phelps.

It was a historic gold medal for Michael Phelps in the Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – the 19th of his Olympic career. It capped a field day for Team USA in the pool Tuesday, with Americans winning medals in every final event, including gold in the Women’s 200m Freestyle.

Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final

The American men were heavily favored to repeate as gold medalists in the Men’s 2 x 400m Free, but I certainly didn’t expect the dominating performance begun on the second 100m of the leadoff swim by Ryan Lochte and ended on the resolute determination of Michael Phelps’ anchor leg. It was an interesting shift in strategy for Team USA, taking the pressure of the finish off Lochte and shifting it to their best swimmer.

While Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens share in the golden glory, the weight of the moment belongs to Phelps. His gold medal in this event was his 19th Olympic medal, which is the most of any athlete in any sport from any country in the modern history of the Olympic Games. Phelps’ family – watching from the grandstands – was clearly emotional, and Phelps hugged the lane divider for quite a while following the race’s conclusion to take in the moment.

France finished 3.07 seconds behind Team USA for the silver, and China was 6.6 seconds behind for the bronze.

Men’s 200m Butterfly Final

Phelps was not invincible on the day, however, faltering in his best event in probably the best race of the day. Phelps had the lead at every touch of the wall by tenths of a second and was seemingly on his way to gold at the final turn, but South African Chad le Clos, swimming in the lane to Phelps’ right, rode his wake and chased him down in the last half-length of the pool for the gold medal. Phelps lost his signature event by only five-hundredths of a second. Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda won the bronze, and American Tyler Clary finished fifth.

It came down to the finish, which was the exact opposite of the same event in Beijing in 2008. Then, Phelps took a final stroke into the wall, overtaking an opponent who stayed underwater, stretching for the wall, by one one-hundredth of a second. This time around, Phelps was the one stretching underwater, and le Clos took the extra stroke.

Women’s 200m Freestyle Final

Allison Schmitt has hit for the cycle, topping her silver medal in the women’s 400m freestyle and bronze in the 4 x 100m free relay with an Olympic record time of 1:53.61 for the gold medal in the 200m free, blowing away the field. Schmitt was fourth after the 50m mark but posted the best time at each split the rest of the way. French swimmer Camille Muffat took silver and Aussie Bronte Barratt took bronze. Missy Franklin, the gold medalist in the women’s 100m backstroke, was in medal contention at each split but finished .01 seconds out of a tie for bronze.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Final

Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen, amid allegations of doping after she posted a better freestyle split time than male American swimmer Ryan Lochte in a previous semifinal, chased down American Caitlin Leverenz and Australia’s Alicia Coutts in the last 50 meters on the freestyle to win her second gold medal of the Games. Shiwen’s time of 2:07.57 was an Olympic record. Coutts also overtook Leverenz, who led at the 150m mark after the breaststroke, for silver, though Leverenz held on for the bronze after coming back from sixth place at the 100m mark following the backstroke.

World record holder, American Ariana Kukors, finished fifth.

Men’s 100m Freestyle Semifinals

Cullen Jones and Nathan Adrian, swimming in the same semifinal, were in contention for the lead at the 50m mark, with Adrian touching the wall first. Adrian pulled away from the field with 25 meters to go to win an intense semifinal, but Jones struggled visibly, finishing last and missing the final. Adrian’s 47.97 second result was the second-fastest time in the semis.

Men’s 200m Breaststroke Semifinals

Americans Scott Weltz and Clark Burckle advanced to the Men’s 200m Breaststroke Final, swum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., with times of 2:08.99 and 2:09.11, respectively. Weltz qualified in the fourth position, and Burckle qualified sixth.

Women’s 200m Butterfly Semifinals

Kathleen Hersey enters the Women’s 200m Butterfly Finals with the top qualifying time of 2:05.90, .2 seconds quicker than Jiao Liuyang of China. American Cammile Adams also qualified for the finals, finishing seventh. The finals will be swum tomorrow at 2:12 p.m. CT.

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.

 

Phelps, Lochte will lead USA in Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay Final

Jason Lezak, the American hero of 2008’s Beijing Olympics in the men’s 4x100m freestyle has probably had his last Olympic swim.

Lezak anchored the US relay team in the qualifying swim today but will not swim in the event finals, where the US will look to continue its dominance. Instead, Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones and Ryan Lochte will swim in order with a powerful Australian team nipping at their heels.

The event is scheduled to live stream at 3 p.m. central after the other swimming events, but will not be aired on TV until primetime on NBC.

To refresh your memories, here’s how that 2008 relay race went down. My second favorite Olympic memory of all-time: