Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Shiwen Ye have already made their presence felt at the 2012 London Olympics.
Just two days are in the books, and already the sport of swimming has taken over the headlines. In Beijing, Phelps and Yang Sun made for some especially mind-blowing competition despite Phelps being the clear favorite.
Arguably as enticing a sport as there is at the Games, the competition will only heat up as the events roll on.
These are the reviews for the medal winners for both the USA and China, as well as mention of those countries who had other notable medalists.
UPDATE: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 6:06 p.m. ET by Luis Batlle
Team USA star Michael Phelps has officially cemented his name in the record books.
In the 4x200-meter freestyle, Phelps and his American teammates put on a dominant performance to take home the gold. It was Phelps' 19th Olympic medal and first gold in London.
As NBSSports.com puts it, Phelps reached what was essentially an "absolute peak" for the dominant American force. The 19 medals topped Soviet superstar Larisa Latynina, a gymnast who won a whopping 18 medals.
This is what Phelps had to say via tweet following the tremendous career feat.
The win came shortly after Phelps was taken down in shocking fashion in the 200-meter butterfly, a race where the swimming legend was the clear favorite.
His teammates in the victory were Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens. All four had the best time of their split, and it was exactly the type of effort it took to top France in this crucial race in London.
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UPDATE: Sunday, July, 29, 2012 at 7:27 p.m. ET by Luis Batlle
Yannick Agnel's tremendous split helped France come back against the United States in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. It was the country's second gold medal of the Games and the team's only one from swimming.
What made this come-from-behind win so impressive was that it was against Ryan Lochte, who the media has swarmed since he took a gold medal over Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley. The French won with a time of 3:09.93.
Lochte and Michael Phelps helped the USA finish second place in the event, but the effort was not enough to top what was a wonderful display from Team France.
Phelps next event will be July 30, when he begins the heats for the men's 200-meter butterfly race.
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UPDATE: Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. ET by Luis Batlle
United States swimming sensation Dana Vollmer finished the 100-meter butterfly in record-setting fashion, posting a World record time of 55.98 seconds.
The mark was just 0.08 of a second quicker than the previous World record, which was set by Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom in 2009 at the World Championships in Rome.
Dana Vollmer sent out a tweet after the preliminary races following an Olympic and American record time, and she was convinced she had better days ahead.
Olympic record+new American record.. Not shabby for a prelims swim!! Felt good- but I know I can go faster!! Thanks for all the support! #fb— Dana Vollmer (@danavollmer) July 28, 2012
And indeed she did.
The first-place finish gives the United States another gold medal in swimming and a 5-4 lead over China in the sport's medal standings. Vollmer is now the second American swimmer to win a gold medal along with the men's Ryan Lochte.
Her next race will be Wednesday in the 4x200-meter freestyle qualifiers with Team USA.
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Eight of the United States' 11 medals have come from swimming, as the Americans continue to display their dominance in the pool.
Ryan Lochte headlines the list of medal winners for the USA after what was an extraordinary display of talent in the 400-meter individual medley. Lochte took down Michael Phelps in stunning fashion, leaving the field in the dust with a final time of four minutes, 5.18 seconds.
Lochte has been outright impressive coming into the Olympics, and it is clear he hasn't lost a step.
Phelps' fifth-place time of 4:09.28 was less than a second shy of coming in second in this down-to-the-wire finish. With the letdown in the 400-meter individual medley, expect the best from what will be a motivated Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley. The 16-time medal winner will need to step up his game to help get himself on the medal board in London.
Meanwhile, Natalie Coughlin's top-notch qualification times helped Team USA finish atop the leaderboard heading into the 4x100-meter event. Coughlin did not race in the finals, and as a result the team finished third place and earned itself a bronze medal. She was the first American woman to win six medals in a single Olympics, capturing the feat at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Elizabeth Beisel has also had an especially promising start to these Olympics. Beisel took the silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the Games.
Much like Team USA, China has been a powerhouse in the water in these 2012 London Games.
The team boasts four swimming medals at the Games through two days, two of which are gold and one bronze. The two gold medals make up half of the four Chinese golds at these Games.
Talk about impressive.
Yet the most jaw-dropping accomplishment of them all came from gold-medalist Shiwen Ye, who set the world record in the women's 400-meter individual medley. It was the first world record set in the London Olympics. This especially talented 16-year-old proves she will be a force to reckon with for years to come and will have her eyes set on multiple gold medals in London.
In that same women's race, Chinese talent Xuanxu Li finished third place and earned her country the bronze medal as well.
The men's Yang Sun is another swimmer, like Ye, who has a great chance to rock the games in London. Sun won the 400-meter freestyle in an Olympic-record time of 3:40.14 and finished first in the 200-meter freestyle heats as well.
If there's one sport China will make need to make an impact in, it's swimming. In the Beijing games, the team won just six swimming medals, and they are already halfway there after two days.
In spite of the plethora of media attention surrounding both USA and China, there are some other medal winners that must be given the credit they are due.
Brazil's Thiago Pereira was among the most impressive, winning a silver medal in what was an outstanding performance in the men's 400-meter individual medley final. Although his performance couldn't top that of Lochte, he out-performed Phelps and several other top-notch swimmers.
South Korea's Tae-Hwan Park was a second-place finisher in the men's 400-meter freestyle. At just 22 years of age and in his third Olympics, Park undoubtedly made a fine impression in this race. Park took the gold medal at the Beijing games in this same event.
Australia, outside of the USA and China, is the only other country to have a gold in swimming at the games. The Australian women came out and dominated the 4x100-meter freestyle by setting an Olympic record with a time of 3:33.15. The squad was led by Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger, both of whom ranked first in their split times.
Swimming Medals at 2012 Games (Info Courtesy of NBCOlympics.com)
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 6:06 p.m. ET
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