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Olympic Swimming 2012: France's Win in the 4x100 and More Surprising Upsets

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29:  (L-R) Adrian Nathan, Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones and Michael Phelps of the United States pose with the silver medals won during the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay final on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Ralph LongoAnalyst IIIJuly 31, 2012

The swimming results of the 2012 Olympic Games has been in stark contrast to that of past Olympic Games, in which the U.S. and Michael Phelps tended to dominate a large portion of the events. This year, we're seeing a whole host of countries and previously unknown athletes taking home the gold.

And quite honestly, it's great to see and very good for the sport.

Not that we don't want as many Americans to win as possible, but it's much better to have parity in the Games than to have a small group winning everything in sight. So, here are some of the more notable upsets in swimming so far in these Olympic Games. 

 

France's Win in the 4x100 Over Phelps and Lochte

This one was a big-time shocker. I recall when I read it online that I did a double take to reassure myself of what I'd just read. Could a team that has both Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte really lose a race? I mean is that really possible? 

Apparently it is. Lochte was handed the lead and just had to hold onto it with 100 meters remaining, and the U.S. would've had yet another victory. But Lochte, for lack of better words, blew it. Gold was within their reach and Lochte failed to deliver. Not to mention the French team swam a terrific race, which has to be said. 

From a totally objective point of view, which is difficult to do as an American whenever the Americans lose, it was probably good in the long run that they lost to France. If Lochte and Phelps won everything, it would become like an old record after a while, tired and played out. 

 

Camille Muffat and Allison Schmitt Upset Rebecca Adlington in the 400-Meter Freestyle

Rebecca Adlington was the defending gold medalist in the 400-meter freestyle. However, it wasn't her night as she was upset by Camille Muffat, of France, and burgeoning American star, Allison Schmitt who finished first and second, respectively. 

This race was fun all around. While it would've been a little better had Schmitt won the gold, it was good to see another country win a major swimming event besides the U.S. Parity once again showed through as you had the winner in Muffat capturing her first Olympic medal, and the young American in Schmitt winning her second medal of the Games. 

 

Lochte Fails to Medal in the 200-Meter Freestyle

Yet another disappointing performance from Lochte. This one, which no one saw coming, was hard to watch. Lochte struggled and couldn't even medal in the 200-meter freestyle, an event that he usually dominates. He won gold last year at the World Championships in this very same race. 

So, why couldn't he even get to the medal stand this time? There's really no easy answer. Lochte's been very disappointing thus far in the Olympic Games. He still has time to redeem himself, but at the moment it appears that the pressure is getting to him. There's really no other explanation for his lack of performance. 

Hopefully he can turn it around. 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @RalphLongo

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