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FINA World Championships, Swimming: United States Overcomes France Again After Epic Battle in Beijing Olympics -- July 26, 2009

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ROME, Italy, July 26. USING a balanced swim, the United States smashed the meet record in the men's 400 free relay at the FINA World Championships.


All of the talk heading into the event today was France being an overwhelming favorite with a year to stew on the Olympic loss to the U.S. last summer. Just a reminder, Jason Lezak became an Olympic hero as he tracked down France for gold in the event in Beijing.

Tonight, the contingent of Michael Phelps (47.78), Ryan Lochte (47.03), Matt Grevers (47.61) and Nathan Adrian (46.79) roared to victory with a sterling time of 3:09.21. The performance beat the meet record of 3:11.26 set by Brazil this morning.

"Got the job done," Phelps said. "Our goals are always to win all three relays. The four of us stood up and swam one race. Adrian's swim is promising for the future of our relays. I did not feel good in the water today, especially the last 25 meters."

Surprisingly, Russia's Evgeny Lagunov (47.90), Andrey Grechin (47.00), Danila Izotov (47.23) and Alexander Sukhorukov (47.39) overtook the favored French foursome with a 3:09.52.

France's Fabien Gilot (47.73), Alain Bernard (46.46), Gregory Mallet (48.28) and Fred Bousquet (47.42) fell back into the bronze position with a 3:09.89.

Brazil's Cesar Cielo nearly bettered the 100 free world record with a scintillating time of 47.09 as Brazil's leadoff. The swim just missed Eamon Sullivan's 47.05 from Beijing. Brazil wound up fourth in 3:10.80.


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Reaction Time Comments
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July 26, 2009 Anyone know why the US completely left Dave Walters off the relay? Cost him a gold medal!
Submitted by: SwimDER94
July 26, 2009 I think I recall seeing somewhere that Walters has been sick. Maybe he wasn't looking good in practice. Just glad they didn't put him on anyway and repeat the Crocker debacle of 2004.
Submitted by: mjb
July 26, 2009 I was wondering the same thing. Not even in prelims. I know he said he was recovering from strep throat in an interview but he felt fine and was ready to race.

Either way, congrats to the US! Another exciting race and finish. Grevers and Adrian really stepped up.
Submitted by: gtx84
July 26, 2009 Awesome race! Congrats to the Americans! Looks like the USA could have a B team on the podium with all the talent in the stable these days.
Submitted by: fluidg
July 26, 2009 What an anticlimactic race. The only Frenchman who swam well was Bernard, with his 46.4 split. And why did they leave Leveaux off the relay? I'm guessing that may have been a last minute decision having something to do with his not being able to wear his favorite suit, Tyr, and the other Frenchmen may have been distracted by his absence and whatever other issues surrounded that decision. Even the Americans didn't swim all that great, two of them did very well and the other two were just okay, by their standards. The women's race between the Netherlands and Germany, on the other hand, was unbelievable. Incredible splits all the way through.
Submitted by: halfbreed
July 26, 2009 Well I have to admit I was wrong in my previous post as to the chances of the 400 relay. Congrats to the team! Never underestimate the French talent for comming up short when it counts. The U.S. has acres of free rent in the heads of the French.
Submitted by: OLDSCHOOL
July 27, 2009 danila izotov split a 47.23, is 17
Submitted by: xxgeffxx
July 27, 2009 danila izotov split a 47.23, is 17
Submitted by: xxgeffxx
July 27, 2009 Oldschool -- Well put. The French did look beaten from the moment they got to the blocks. I was also struck by how subdued the American celebration seemed to be afterwards, though maybe that's just in comparison to their celebration in Beijing. Adrian seemed to be the only one who was completely pumped. On another matter, does anyone know how tall Izotov is?
Submitted by: halfbreed
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