Flash! USA Downs Aussies in 800 Freestyle Relay in American Record 7:07.33 Italy Takes the Bronze

By Stephen J. Thomas

Team USA had a very satisfying victory over Australia tonight for the first time since the Atlanta Olympics. In that time the Aussies have won three World Champs and were the 2000 Olympic champs.

Tonight the USA went with Michael Phelps to take them out. He did a great job, given that he had swum the 200 fly less than one hour earlier. The Americans were never headed, as they led from start to finish. And oh, what a finish!

As SwimInfo’s Aussie correspondent here at the Games, I thought that although the Aussies had fallen back to third place when Thorpe took up the charge on the final 200m, the big black shark would make up the ground on Klete Keller and touch the wall first.

Thorpe did a great job — 1:44.18, just outside his world record split in 2001 Fukuoka. But Keller, who is incredibly tough on relays, went 1:45.53 (only Thorpe and Hoogie have been faster) holding onto the lead by just 0.13 of a second, despite Thorpie’s heroic attempts to force Keller to give it up.

The Italians moved into third place after a great second leg from Sydney Olympic medalist Massi Rosolino and stayed there, finishing in 7:11.83, just ahead of the British team 7:12.60.

FINALS: USA wins gold medal in 4 x 200 meter FREE RELAY: 7:07.33 NEW OLYMPIC RECORD

Michael Phelps 25.15 52.29 1:19.71 1:46.49
Ryan Lochte 24.66 52.19 1:19.91 1:47.52
P Vanderkaay 24.63 52.11 1:20.05 1:47.79
Kleete Keller 25.01 51.86 1:18.89 1:45.53

Silver: AUSTRALIA: Hackett, Klim, Sprenger, Thorpe – 7:07.46
Bronze: ITALY: Brembilla, Rosolino, Cercato, Magnini – 7:11.83

1 7:07.33 United States,USA
1:46.49 Phelps Michael
1:47.52 Lochte Ryan
1:47.79 Vanderkaay Peter
1:45.53 Keller Klete

2 7:07.46 Australia,AUS
1:47.50 Hackett Grant
1:47.62 Klim Michael
1:48.16 Sprenger Nicholas
1:44.18 Thorpe Ian

3 7:11.83 Italy,ITA
1:48.16 Brembilla Emiliano
1:46.24 Rosolino Massimiliano
1:49.85 Cercato Simona
1:47.58 Magnini Filippo
4 7:12.60 Great Britain,GBR
1:47.90 Burnett Simon
1:48.46 Meadows Gavin
1:49.05 O’Brien David
1:47.19 Davenport Ross

5 7:13.33 Canada,CAN
1:49.08 Hayden Brent
1:49.15 Johns Brian
1:48.09 Hurd Andrew
1:47.01 Say Rick

6 7:16.51 Germany,GER
1:49.08 Schreiber Jens
1:49.15 Hell Hell
1:48.23 Conrad Lars
1:50.05 Keller Christian

7 7:17.43 France,FRA
1:48.57 Leveaux Amaury
1:48.67 Horth Fabien
1:50.01 Kintz Nicholas
1:50.18 Rostoucher, Nicholas

8 7:23.02 Greece,GRE
1:50.34 Antonopoulos Apostolos
1:51.33 Manganas Dimitrios
1:50.26 Zisimos Andreas
1:51.09 Xylouris Nikolas