ATHENS, Greece, August 21. AMERICA’S 4×100-meter medley relay closed out the swimming competition at the XXVIII Olympics on Saturday, Aug. 21, by winning gold in a world record time of 3:30.68.
Auburn reported on the event, and all the Tigers participating, and that the U.S. finish earned former Tiger Mark Gangloff his first medal of the Games as the Stow, Ohio, native swam breaststroke on the preliminary relay squad during Friday's competition. Gangloff had shared the preliminary swim with Lenny Krazelburg, Michael Phelps and Neil Walker, who also all earned gold medals.
The USA squad, which was comprised of Aaron Peirsol, who won gold in both the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes, Brendan Hanson, the silver medalist in the 100- and bronze medalist in the 200-meter breaststrokes, Ian Crocker, the silver medalist in the 100-meter butterfly, and Jason Lezak, cruised to the world record, leading from the first leg and never relinquishing the lead.
Other Tigers swimming in the relay were Fred Bousquet of France and Matt Kidd of Great Britain. The French team finished fifth with a time of 3:36.57 while the British were eighth at 3:37.77. Bousquet and Kidd both swam the anchor legs with Bousquet clocking a 48.54 and Kidd a 49.14. Bousquet's time was the fourth fastest in the field.
The Tigers closed out the swimming competition with a total of five medals. Kirsty Coventry netted three (gold * 200m back; silver * 100m back, bronze * 200m IM), George Bovell one (bronze – 200m IM) and Gangloff one (gold * 4x100m medley relay).
This was the first Olympics that three Tigers medalled. The previous high was in 1984 and 1996 when AU had two.
The five swimming medals equal the Auburn record, matching the 1984 games (three gold, two bronze). It also ranked Auburn tied for sixth with Germany on the swimming nations list behind the United States (28), Australia (15), Japan (8), the Netherlands (7) and France (6).
Caesar Garcia will look to add to the Auburn medal total beginning on Friday, Aug. 27, when he competes in the preliminary round of the men's platform competition.
Olympic Swimming * Auburn Results
Men's 4x100m Medley Relay * Finals
1. USA 3:30.68
Peirsol (53.45), Hansen (59.37), Crocker (50.28), Lezak (47.58)
5. France 3:36.57
DuFour (55.74) DuBoscq (1:00.07), Esposito (52.22), Bousquet (48.54)
8. Great Britain 3:37.77
Tai (55.69), Gibson (1:00.30), Hickman (52.64), Kidd (49.14)