Adrian leads U.S. to silver medal

Nathan Adrian swam a spectacular opening leg in the finals of the 400-meter freestyle relay Sunday.

It just wasn’t enough to defend the gold.

Adrian and his American teammates finished silver in 3 minutes, 10.38 seconds. France came from behind, just like the Americans did to France in 2008 in Beijing, to win in 3:09.93. Russia won the bronze in 3:11.41. Pre-race favorite Australia finished off the podium in fourth.

Adrian led-off the race in 47.89 giving the U.S. the lead, which it held thanks to a remarkable split by Michael Phelps (47.15) and Cullen Jones (47.60). Lochte swam the anchor in 47.74, but France’s Yannick Agnel swam out of this world in 46.74, passing him in the final few meters.

While the loss was disappointing for the Americans, it does set up an interesting 100 freestyle which begins Tuesday.

Adrian’s time was good enough for third-fastest in the world this year, right behind Australia’s James Magnussen and James Roberts. Adrian has said getting on the podium to add to the medal haul by the U.S. has been his only goal. Magnussen’s time of 48.03 and Roberts’ time of 48.09 from the relay would likely leave them off the podium come Wednesday’s final.

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