Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Back into Gold; London Olympics

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Back into Gold; London Olympics

Article excerpt

LONDON - Michael Phelps has yet to win a gold medal, and Ryan Lochte has lagged the last two days. So, along came Missy Franklin to restore American swim hopes with a gutty performance Monday.

Coming back less than 14 minutes after swimming a semifinal heat, the Colorado teenager won the first gold medal of her Olympic career, rallying to win the 100-meter backstroke.

"Indescribable," the 17-year-old Franklin said. "I still can't believe that happened. I don't even know what to think. I saw my parents' reaction on the screen and I just started bawling. I can't even think right now."

Matt Grevers kept the gold medals coming in rat-a-tat fashion, following up Franklin's win with one of his own in the men's 100 back. For good measure, Nick Thoman made it a 1-2 finish for the U.S. team by taking the silver.

Rebecca Soni nearly pulled out a third U.S. gold, rallying on the return leg of the 100 breaststroke. But she couldn't quite catch Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, a gold medalist at the tender age of 15. Soni was second.

Good thing for the U.S. that Franklin and the other Americans are coming through.

Phelps missed the podium in his 2012 Olympic debut, and Lochte has turned two successive disappointing performances after opening the games with a dominant win in the 400 individual medley. He finished fourth and off the podium Monday in the 200 freestyle, which France's Yannick Agnel won by a full body length against a field with gold medalists galore. On Sunday, Lochte anchored the U.S. in the 4x100 free relay, taking over with a seemingly comfortable lead. But Agnel chased him down on the final leg, giving France the gold.

Now, another defeat.

"I did my best," Lochte said. "I guess sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I gave it 110 percent. There's probably some things I messed up on, but you live and learn. (Agnel is) a great racer. …

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