Nathan Adrian Wins First US Gold in 100 Freestyle Since 1988

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  (L-R) Nathan Adrian of the United States, Cesar Cielo of Brazil and Nikita Lobintsez of Russia compete in the Men's 100m Freestyle heat 6 on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Another day and another incredibly thrilling moment in the pool at the Aquatic Centre in London on Wednesday during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

American Nathan Adrian won the 100-meter freestyle, beating the favored James “The Missile” Magnussen of Australia by 0.01 seconds with a time of 47.52 seconds. The U.S. Olympic Twitter feed offers their congratulations:

Congrats @nathangadrian on adding to #TeamUSA's gold medal count by winning the 100m freestyle in 47.52.

— US Olympic Team (@USOlympic) August 1, 2012


Adrian’s win marked the first time an American won the gold medal in the 100 freestyle since 1988. Canada’s Brent Hayden secured the bronze with a time of 47.80 seconds.

It was neck-and-neck throughout the race and it made for one of the most exciting finishes of an Olympic event to date through the first five days of competition.

This is the second time Adrian and the world champion Magnussen have gone head-to-head. The duo both swam the first leg of the 4x100 freestyle relay on Sunday, with Adrian hitting the wall .14 seconds before Magnussen.

The short distance specialist still has one last shot for gold later this week as a member of the 4x100 medley relay team.

The 23-year-old Washington native had already won a silver medal as a member of the 4x100 freestyle relay alongside Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones and Ryan Lochte, but winning gold on his own will surely go down as his most memorable moment of the 2012 Olympics.

While the inconsistencies of Phelps and Lochte have certainly been well documented, its performances like the one from Adrian that remind you the U.S. is still a world power in swimming events on the men’s side.