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Lochte falters, but U.S. backstrokers golden

10:08 PM, Jul 30, 2012   |    comments
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Jul 30, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Missy Franklin (USA) reacts after winning the women's 100m backstroke finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports



LONDON - Ryan Lochte said for months that this is his time. But maybe it's Missy's.

Missy Franklin won gold in the women's 100-meter backstroke Monday immediately after Lochte's fourth place in the men's star-studded 200 freestyle. And immediately after that, Matt Grevers won gold in the men's 100 backstroke - back to back in the back.

"It was something I've been wanting to get since I was 10 years old," Grevers said. "I came so close in 2008, getting a silver."

Franklin won gold on her first try in an individual event, to go with her bronze from the 4x100 relay.

"It is exceeding the expectation a hundred million times more than what I ever thought it could be like," Franklin gushed. "When you dream about something your whole life and you achieve it, you don't really understand what you just did, and I definitely don't think I do. I couldn't be happier right now."

Lochte could. Frenchman Yannick Agnel took gold with a wire-to-wire win in the men's 200 free one night after overtaking Lochte in the 4x100 relay.

Meanwhile, even as that highly anticipated race was going on, Franklin warmed down in the dive pool after qualifying eighth in the semis of her 200 free. She'd conserved energy in that race to be ready for her next one only minutes later.

Lochte paused to watch Franklin's finish before talking to news reporters. Then he turned to the unpleasant task of talking about back-to-back disappointments following his opening-night gold.

"I put everything into it," Lochte said. "I guess it wasn't there."

That was the same story as the night before.

"Whatever happened last night, happened last night," Lochte said. "I had to get over it and move on.

"Whatever happened tonight, I know I have a couple more races left. I just have to forget about it and move on."

The question is how well Lochte will be able to move on - and how many medals Franklin can bring home.


By Erik Brady, USA TODAY

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