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France turns history to edge U.S. in men's 4x100m freestyle

(Xinhua)

14:37, July 30, 2012

LONDON, July 29 (Xinhua) -- History didn't repeat in the final men's 4x100 meter freestyle in the London Olympic Games, it looked itself in the mirror and was turned on its head.

If four years ago it was the French quartet who suffered the heartbreak of seeing how Jason Lezak swam a miraculous last leg to snatch gold, this time it was the Americans who were beaten by a lightening last 100 meters by France.

Yannick Agnal was the French hero with a swim that saw him overhaul yesterday's 400 meters medley gold medal winner, Rayan Lochte in the last lap to seal a dramatic and satisfying win that set the Marselleise ringing out around the Aquatic arena for the second time on Sunday night after Camille Moffat's triumph in the women's 400 meters freestyle.

Lochte tried to put a brave face on his swim and America's defeat.

"We are the best four guys, we went out there to win, but came up short," he said, adding that he wasn't a sprint specialist

"I don't really swim the 100 meters freestyle: I haven't swum the 100m in a long time: I was just really excited. I think I over - swam the last 50m and sprinting definitely takes it out of you," he said.

Michael Phelps had swum a magnificent second leg to put the US ahead and banish some fears of a lack of form and admitted he has been stronger than in his fourth place finish on Saturday

"I felt a lot better today than yesterday. I was able to put yesterday behind me," he confirmed, while Nathan Adrian was delighted to win a medal.

"I like the result. We don't go into any relay hoping for silver or hoping for bronze, we go into a relay hoping to win, but unfortunately we didn't. At the same time we have got to take it for what it is," he said.

But the big celebrations were for the French swimmers, although Agnal was unable to comment about his performance as he is racing in the men' s 200 meters freestyle final on Monday, his team-mates were delighted with the win.

"It makes a change from four years ago. Now we're first in front of the other swimmers, and it's incredible. It's a form of revenge for four years ago. I was convinced of the victory. It's so good to win," said Amaury Leveaux, while Fabian Gilot expressed his pleasure at the win.

"It is satisfaction. We were thinking about the difficult times in the past before the race. They're beautiful medals. We knew we could do it. We have been thinking about all the efforts of the past few years," he added.

No doubt they will raise a glass or two of the good stuff in the French camp on Sunday night.


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