Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps were picked to swim for the USA men’s team in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, but came in a disappointing second after Lochte failed to keep up the team’s lead in the final leg.
The Huffington Post reports that Lochte was given the lead after three legs, but was overtaken by French swimmer Yannick Agnel, who surged ahead of the American swimmer to win gold for his team.
Yahoo News notes that the American coaches’ choice to stick Phelps and Lochte in the same relay seemed to be the perfect idea, but while Michael Phelps held up his end of the race, Ryan Lochte couldn’t quite make it.
In an unusual decision, the U.S. coaches decided to put Lochte in the anchor position, despite his inexperience in the 4×100 race. They also took Phelps out of his customary lead-off position, instead placing Nathan Adrian, the Trials champion, in the starting position.
Adrian was able to start the U.S. off fast with a time of 47.89, putting them in first. Phelps took extended that lead comfortably with a leg of 47.15. Cullen Jones was able to keep the lead during the third leg, but when he handed the gold to Lochte, the swimmer who took gold in the 400 IM couldn’t quite keep up.
France ended up taking the gold with a time of 3:09:93, while the U.S. took the silver with a time of 3:10:38. The dramatic finish was a complete reversal from the 2008 Beijing Games, where the U.S. came from behind to steal gold from the French.
Were you surprised that Ryan Lochte failed in the quest for gold in the men’s 4×100 freestyle?