France Narrowly Beats U.S. For 4x100m Free Relay Gold

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States dives off of the starting block as he competes in heat four of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Four years later, France gets its revenge against the United States in the men's 4x100m Free Relay, winning the gold medal Sunday at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Four years after Jason Lezak's unbelievable comeback in the Men's 4x100m Freestlye Relay, France got its revenge against the United States Sunday at the 2012 Summer Olympics, narrowly edging the Americans for the gold medal. Russia won the bronze while Australia, the pre-race favorite, was fourth.

With Nathan Adrian leading things off, the U.S. had a slight lead over Australia after the first 100m. Then Michael Phelps took to the water and looked much better than he did on Saturday in the 400m IM as he lengthened the Americans' lead over France, while the Aussies dipped to third.

Cullen Jones swam the third 100m and only managed to maintain the U.S. advantage, but the French began closing over the final 50m. Ryan Lochte anchored the swim for the U.S. and took a 0.30-second lead into the final 50 meters, but it was there that France's Yannick Agnel turned it on and gave his best Lezak impersonation, passing Lochte in the final meters and touching the wall just 0.45 seconds ahead of the American.

France was excited.


After Lochte's dominant win in Saturday's 400m IM, it perhaps made sense to have him swim the American anchor, and of course hindsight is 20/20, but should Phelps have been swimming last? It's likely Lochte was at least a bit fatigued -- he swam the 200m Free semifinals earlier in the evening. And the times lend some support to those who want to question the order: Phelps swam his 100m in 47.15 (the fastest U.S. split) while Lochte turned in a 47.74.

Then again, maybe it wouldn't have mattered -- France's Agnel swam a blistering 46.74 split in his anchor leg, the only swimmer of the 32 athletes to go under 47 seconds.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub. For more on Olympic swimming, follow the 2012 Olympic Aquatics section.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.