USA Men Earn Gold In 800 Free Relay; Phelps Takes Home 21st Gold Medal

Photo Courtesy: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Men’s 800 Free Relay Final:

The men’s 800 free relay final was highlighted by a tough battle for second with the USA jumping to the lead after a strong first leg by Conor Dwyer (1:45.23). Young Texan Townley Haas solidified the USA’s lead with a dynamic 1:44.14 split before handing off to veterans Ryan Lochte (1:46.03) and Michael Phelps (1:45.26). The quad posted a combined time of 7:00.26 for first and Phelps’ 21st Olympic gold medal.

Phelps posted one of the signature swims of his career to win gold in the 200 fly earlier in the night, but needed some major help from his friends in this one. He admitted to asking Dwyer, Haas and Lochte to spot him a big lead before he dove into the water, and he actually had to borrow Dwyer’s cap for the race—turned inside out—after his ripped as he got prepared to step onto the blocks.

The battle for second was highlighted by the men of Japan and Great Britain, with Japan holding second for much of the race. A strong anchor leg, however, by Great Britain’s James Guy boosted the Brits up and ahead of the Japanese for the silver medal. The relay team of Stephen Milne (1:46.97), Duncan Scott (1:45.05), Dan Wallace (1:46.26), and Guy (1:44.85) posted a combined time of 7:03.13.

Posting an awfully close third was the Japanese team of Kosuke Hagino (1:45.34), Naito Ehara (1:46.11), Yuki Kobori (1:45.71), and Takeshi Matsuda (1:46.34) with a final time of 7:03.50.

Australia finished fourth overall with a 7:04.18, ahead of the Russian Federation’s 7:05.70.

Germany (7:07.28), The Netherlands (7:09.10), and Belgium (7:11.64) rounded out the top eight.

Full results from tonight’s semifinals and finals are available here.

4 Comments

4 comments

  1. avatar
    Leander

    Why didn’t Jack Conger swim on this relay tonight?

    • avatar
      Cornholio

      Cause Bob Bowman decided it would make more sense to swim Lochte – even though he split slower in the morning and finished behind Conger at trials.

      • avatar
        Leander

        Why did he do that? Jack Conger earned that spot by swimming faster than Ryan Lochte in the prelims. What Bob Bowman did was wrong, but I guess some swimmers are more equal than others to Bob Bowman.

  2. avatar
    Jerry Quinn - Bethesda, MD

    just a crime not to have Jack Conger swimming in the finals; HE BEAT LOTCHE: HE HAD A FASTER AM TIME THAN LOCHTE IN THE FINALS!!!!!!

    Just sad that Bob could not have made this a data decision and not based on something else.

Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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