Print and Go Back Olympics [Print without images]

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Wednesday: Analysis from Olympic pool

By Wayne Drehs

LONDON -- A quick look at the top stories from London Aquatics Centre on Wednesday night:

Marquee man

For the first time since Matt Biondi in 1988, an American man won one of the marquee events of the Olympic swimming program, the 100-meter freestyle. In a dramatic, come-from-behind victory, Nathan Adrian out-touched James Magnusson by one one-hundredth of a second to win gold.

At the 50-meter mark, Adrian was in third place by .04 seconds behind world-record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil and Brent Hayden of Canada. But on the back half it became a race between Adrian and Magnusson, with Adrian reaching and touching the wall first. Adrian finished in 47.52 and Magnusson in 47.53.

After touching the wall, Adrian turned to look at the scoreboard, saw the "1" next to his name and unleashed an enormous smile. He then held his head in his hands as he began to cry.

Phelps versus Lochte, Part II

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have said that when they're in the pool at the same time, neither one wants to lose. So even though Wednesday night's 200 individual medley was merely a semifinal, an appetizer for Thursday night's main event, it still meant something. A lot, in fact.

It was further proof that if Phelps wants to beat Lochte, he'll need to figure out a way to get out in front of his rival during the butterfly and backstroke legs. On Wednesday, Phelps held a .06-second advantage midway through the race before Lochte overtook Phelps on the breaststroke and then pulled away on the freestyle, winning by more than a second. Lochte's final time of 1:56.13 was the fastest in the semifinals. Phelps' 1:57.11 was third. Laszlo Cseh of Hungary was second (1:56.74) and has a chance to spoil the Phelps-Lochte party.

Phelps will have one advantage Thursday: He will be fully rested, while Lochte will be coming off an earlier final in the 200 backstroke.

The new leading ladies

Missy Franklin said Wednesday morning that one of the highlights of her Olympics has been receiving congratulatory tweets from two of her favorite singers, Justin Bieber and Scotty McCreery.

After her performance Wednesday night, she may be in line for more Twitter love. Franklin entered the 100 freestyle semis with the seventh-fastest preliminary time but sped through Lane 7 during the semis in 54.26, the third-fastest semifinal time of the night.

A little less than two hours later, she led off the Americans' winning 4x200 freestyle relay, giving Franklin, Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer their second gold medal of these Games. Shannon Vreeland won her first gold as part of the relay.

But it was Schmitt who stole the show, turning a half-second deficit into a 1.49-second, Olympic-record victory (7:44.41). With Schmitt being just 20 years old and Franklin 17, the future of the U.S. women's swim team appears bright.