World Swimming Thread: Adrian Gives U.S. Gold

UPDATE: If you missed the 400 free relay, you can watch it here. It’s pretty amazing!

UPDATE: A true champion always delivers in the cluch and Nathan is doing it time and time again. USA finished at 3:09.21 (a course record), better than Russia’s 3:09.52. Nathan had the fastest split of the four, going an astonishing 46.79. His best in the 100 free was 48-flat. He is obviously ready for this meet! By the way, France finished a disappointing third, 3:09.89.

Nathan was interviewed following the race, here’s what was said.

Andrea Kramer (NBC): All right, they’re calling Nathan Adrian Little Lezak. (Phelps laughing) You like that?

Phelps: That’s funny! That’s good! Nathan had a great swim he had to have 46.8 and its promising for our relay for the fuure. You know we finished the day off on a good note. So, we’re happy.

Kramer: What make you pull through like that Nathan?

Adrian: (laughing) I had to stay within myself and swim my own race as opposed to on, you know, try and focus on anybody else. I was able to do that and, um, you know the last 10 meters I just tried to put my head down and finish the race.

Adrian now has to be considered a strong contender to make the podium in the 100 free, which can be seen on Universal Sports (check local listings for channel) and Universalsports.com, at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

UPDATE: Phelps has the leadoff, and it’s a tight first 50, Brazil is at 22.5, but Lochte is in the water and he looks good. Phelps got them third. Lochte, swimming it for the first time, still third. Matt Grevers has the third leg, now second! And now Adrian into the pool! Nathan is in lane 6 and looks great! Here he somes! Oh my! He did it!

USA wins! Nathan is a world champion! They beat France again! He was so strong! Amazing finish yet again and Phelps was yelling at him, ‘Finish it finish it!’ France actually finished third, with Russia coming in second. Wow!

Rowdy Gaines has dubbed Nathan, ‘Jason Lezak Jr,’ in reference to Lezak’s amazing finish in Beijing.

UPDATE: Finally got a glimpse of Nathan Adrian. Phelps and Ryan Lochte are next to France.

UPDATE: We’re moments away from the start of the 400 relay and NBC is absolutely playing this up as the bout of the century. A little overkill, maybe??

The first day of the world swimming championships are finally underway.

It’s Sunday evening in Rome at Foro d’Italico, the swim stadium, and the highlight of the day is the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay. Everyone’s expecting a showdown of the French and U.S. teams, but Brazil made an early statement in the prelims.

Brazil set a meet record in 3:11.26 and is the top seed. The French are second (3:12.72) and Great Britain third (3:11.62).

The U.S. team of Garrett Weber-Gale, Matt Grevers, Ricky Berens and Cullen Jones qualified fourth for the finals in 3:11.64.

Nathan Adrian and Michael Phelps will swim the relay finals along with two others from the morning.

This post will be updated, so keep checking back.