All in 24 hours: Agnel beats best twice to turn pool star

After anchoring french team to 4x100 freestyle gold,he wins 200m freestyle

Written by Agencies | London | Published: July 31, 2012 1:42:45 am

Yannick Agnel of France beat a stellar field to win the 200-meter freestyle at the London Olympics on Monday. Having pulled France ahead of the United States in the last leg of the 4×100 freestyle relay a day earlier,Agnel led from start to finish and clocked 1 minute,43.14 seconds in the event dubbed as the ‘race of the century’.

Park Tae-hwan of South Korea and Sun Yang of China shared silver in 1:44.93. World champ Ryan Lochte of the US finished fourth and Paul Biedermann of Germany,who holds the world record,was fifth. Defending champ Michael Phelps did not enter the event.

Just 24 hours earlier,in the 4×100 men’s free style,Agnel hit the water a half-second after Lochte and reeled him in the way the American Jason Lezak did the Frenchman Alain Bernard four years ago in the Olympic final in Beijing. Like Bernard then,Lochte did not contain his speed well in the first 50 metres.

He went out too hard,fighting his stroke instead of finding his rhythm,and he paid for it dearly in the final metres as he was passed by Agnel,who swam a 46.74-second split to Lochte’s 47.74. France finished in 3 minutes 9.93 seconds,ahead of the United States (3:10.38) and Russia (3:11.41).

Shiwen denies dope allegation

Sixteen-year-old Chinese swimming prodigy Ye Shiwen categorically denied doping after British media raised suspicions about her world record-breaking start to the London Olympics.

Ye shattered Stephanie Rice’s mark in the women’s 400m individual medley by more than a second,including an astonishing final lap,which was faster than US winner Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps in the men’s competition.

With the swim,Ye took nearly seven seconds off her time at last year’s world championships. And in Monday’s 200m medley heats,she clocked 2min 8.90sec — the quickest in the world this year.

“There is no problem with doping,the Chinese team has a firm policy so there is no problem with that,” she said.

Arne Ljungqvist,medical commission chief for the IOC,called the speculation “sad.”

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