Olympic Swimming: USA's Nathan Adrian Wins 100 Meter Freestyle by .01 Seconds

Matthew DickerContributor IIIAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01:  Nathan Adrian of the United States celebrates after he won the Final of the Men's 100m Freestyle on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 1, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

In perhaps the most exciting race thus far in the London Olympics, Nathan Adrian of the United States defeated James Magnussen of Australia, Brent Hayden of Canada and Yannick Agnel of France, amongst others, to win the men's 100 meter freestyle by one-one hundredth of a second.

Coming into the turn, Cesar of Cielo led the field, with Hayden and Adrian trailing in second and third. Adrian and Magnussen came on strong in the final 50 meters to overtake Cielo and Hayden.

Adrian posted a time of 0:47:52, 0:00:45 better than his qualifying time. Magnussen's silver medal winning time of 0:47:53 was better than his leading qualifying time of 0:47:63, but was not enough to pass Adrian. Hayden touched the wall only 0:00:27 later for a time of 0:47:80, 0:00:41 better than his qualifying time, enough to earn the bronze medal.

Nathan Adrian has been the premiere short-distance freestyle swimmer in the United States since winning the 100 meter freestyle at the 2008 World Championships (short course) in Manchester, England. He won gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as part of the 4x100 meter freestyle team, and won his second Olympic medal--a silver--as part of the same team at this year's Olympics.

He collected four gold medals at the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships, including both the 50 meter and 100 meter freestyle and has been a leader on the relay teams at the World Championships (long course) in 2009 and 2011.

Adrian is the first American to win gold in the 100 meter freestyle since Matt Biondi won the event at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Adrian's victory is the 12th time that the United States has won the gold medal in the event, which was introduced at the first modern Olympiad in 1896.