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Live updates: France catches US in 4x100 freestyle; Vollmer wins gold in 100m butterfly

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  July 29, 2012 01:57 PM

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Four years ago, Michael Phelps collected the second of his record haul of eight gold medals with one of the most tense and memorable races in Olympic history.

His Phelps's teammate on the 4x100 relay, anchor Jason Lezak, caught France's Alain Bernard in the final 50 meters and beat him to the wall by a fingertip. It was instant Olympic lore, enhanced by what was at stake.

While the stakes were not quite so high Sunday night at London's Aquatic Center, France exacted its revenge in similar fashion. And while the manner in which their swimmers might have imagined payback playing out probably involved catching Phelps or the veteran Lezak on the last leg, the reality was even more shocking:

They caught Ryan Lochte.

Specifically, it was Yannick Agnel who caught Lochte, the gold medalist in the 400 individual medley Sunday night and one of the marquee stars of the sport. He did so on the final leg, making up a 0.55-second deficit after three legs to overtake Lochte over the last 50 meters to claim gold -- and yes, revenge -- in an overall time of 3 minutes 9.93 seconds.

"I'm kinda bummed," said Lochte in the mixed zone afterward. "When we go up on the blocks, we want to win."

The US, which led after each of the first three legs, swum by Nathan Adrian, Phelps, and Cullen Jones, took silver (3:10.38). Russia won the bronze (3:11.41).

The medal is the 17th of Phelps's career, and his first silver, to go with 14 golds and two bronzes.

* * *

3:54: Missy Franklin takes first in her semifinal of the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 58.12. She was second overall, behind Australia's Emily Seebohm.

3:20: Dana Vollmer isn't the only swimmer breaking records Sunday. The second world record of the day's competition falls when South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh blazes to gold in the 100-meter breaststroke, winning in a time of 58.46 seconds.

Brendan Hansen of the US won the bronze. Australia's Christian Sprenger took silver.

In the women's 400-meter freestyle, France's Camille Muffat set an Olympic record of 4:01.45, while Allison Schmidt collected the US's third medal of the night with a silver and a new American record. Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington took bronze.

Also, Americans Matt Grevers (first) and Nick Thoman (fifth) qualified for the men's 100 backstroke final.

* * *

3:01: Americans Rebecca Soni (second) and Breeja Larson (fourth) qualify for Monday's final in the 100-meter breaststroke.

2:48 p.m.: Ryan Lochte has qualified fifth in the 200-meter freestyle, while teammate Ricky Berens missed the cut by just .07 seconds, finishing ninth.

Lochte finished second in his heat for the race, which takes place Monday night. China's Sun Yang was first.

* * *

2:33 p.m. One race down, one gold medal for the US.

Dana Vollmer sets a world record -- and wins the first gold for the US women-- with a blistering time of 55.98 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly.

Lu Ying of China won the silver, while Australia's Alicia Coutts took the bronze.

* * *

2:15 p.m. We've got the first bit of news from the Aquatic Centre, at which four swimming medals are at stake Sunday night.

Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps will swim during the 4x100 meter relay tonight, along with teammates Cullen Jones and Nathan Adrian.

None of the four swam during qualifying earlier in the day. It was believed, though not certain, that Lochte and Phelps, who went head-to-head in the 400 individual medley Saturday night, would compete tonight, but the confirmation just came a few minutes ago.

The race will give Phelps a chance to collect his first medal of these Olympics and his 17th overall. Lochte will be going for his second medal in London after winning gold in the 400 IM while Phelps finished a stunning fourth.

Lezak, who anchored the US's gold-medal winning 4x100 relay in Beijing, isn't one of the four chosen for the final, but as one of the swimmers who participated in prelims, he will receive a medal should the US make the podium.

The other medal events tonight are the women's 100-meter butterfly, women's 400-meter freestyle, and men's 100-meter breaststroke.

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