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Swimming, Day 1 - Men’s 4x100m free: France wins epic battle against USA
As at the 2012 Olympics in London, France and USA fought an epic battle and as in the British capital, the quartet from Gaul managed to get the gold in what was perhaps the most spectacular final of this first day of finals. The French won in 3:11.18, while the North Americans (who got the gold on 11 occasions at the World Championships) had to settle for silver in 3:11.42 – the key for the victory was an amazing third leg by Fabien Gilot, who swam the 100m free in an impressive 46.90, the fastest of the final.
At the same time, Anthony Ervin (USA) clocked 47.44, while the last leg was even worse for the USA: Feigen’s 48.23 were clearly slow against Stravius’ 47.59. It is the first title for France (swimming with Yannick Agnel, Florent Manadou, Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius) in this event at the FINA World Championships.
The 2011 gold medallist, Australia, was out of the podium – fourth in 3:11.58, slightly behind the team of Russia, who got the bronze in 3:11.44. In the end, Barcelona 2013 had exactly the same podium as the Olympics last year!
World Record: United States, 3:08.24 – August 11, 2008 in Beijing (CHN)
Championships Record: United States, 3:09.21 – July 26, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Russia (3:14.06); 2005 – United States (3:13.77); 2007 – United States (3:12.72); 2009 – United States (3:09.21); 2011 – Australia (3:11.00)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): United States (1973, 1975, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2005, 2007 & 2009)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. France (3:09.93), 2. United States (3:10.38), 3. Russia (3:11.41)
Gold medal team: France
Fabien Gilot: "We came from far in this race, it's always a close race and it keeps getting faster and faster but that's also what makes it such a particular race. Russia, USA and Australia have very good teams, they keep getting stronger and stronger."
Yannick Agnel: "We wanted that race. We were just in great shape, we just wanted to swim fast and have fun and this is just the way you should swim all your races." "The crowd tonight felt like home."
Silver medal team: USA
Anthony Ervin, on first impression: "What a rush! Last time I was here was 10 years ago, there are fast teams out there in the world but we thought we did a great job." On taking second: "You can't win them all and when you don't win, you learn from that experience."
James Feigen: "I did not see the French coming, I saw them only in the last 5 meters, I was focusing more on Russia than I should have. They [The French] really did a good race."
"These are my first World Championships, I still need to learn to swim my own races a little bit better, I was not breathing as many times as I should have and it affected my race."
Bronze medal team: Russia
Vladimir Morozov: "We lost to the Americans by 0.02 so we are really disappointed about the race. I did my best and honestly, I thought the result would be better."