Nathan Adrian Sneaks Away with Gold After Dramatic Photo Finish

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIAugust 2, 2012

Aug 1, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Nathan Adrian (USA) (center-gold) James Magnussen (AUS) (left-silver)) and Brett Hayden (CAN) (right-bronze) celebrate with their medals on the podium after the men's 100m freestyle final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY

The Australian “Missile” misfired Wednesday night, allowing Team USA to claim another gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

American swimmer Nathan Adrian squeaked past defending world champion James “The Missile” Magnussen by one-hundredth of a second to earn a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle event.

It simply CANNOT get any closer than Wednesday evening's photo finish.

Adrian, 23, was behind in the final stretch but dug down deep and pulled out one final, desperate stroke that propelled him to the finish just seconds before “The Missle” could hit the touchpad first.

‘‘It’s not who swims the fastest time this year,’’ Adrian said ( ‘‘It’s who can get their hands on the wall first here tonight.’’

Magnussen, 21, was the heavy favorite to take home gold in the 100-m free. Some even pegged him for a lock to take home multiple gold medals in London.

Gold medals aren’t where his ambitions stopped. He had assumed to set the world record in the event.

"Having such a successful young career I just felt pretty much bullet proof coming into this Olympics and it is very humbling," Magnussen told reporters after the dramatic photo finish (REUTERS).

“The Missile” had a significant realization after his second disappointing performance of the Olympic Games.

"As my coach said during the week, it is a pretty tough time to learn you are human."

Magnussen has learned his mortality and it has been Adrian who has looked just as dynamic and exhilarating as the Australian “Missile” has in his young career. During Sunday’s 400-meter freestyle relay, Adrian also bested him on the first leg by a whopping .23 seconds.

Heading into the Olympics, all of the talk and hype was centered on Michael Phelps and Ryan Locthe rather than Magnussen and Adrian. However, Adrian has definitely shined so far. He’s added another gold medal to the tally, one medal many assumed Magnussen had locked for the Australians after an impressive year and his first place finish during the qualifying heats.




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