Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian became the first athlete with Washington connections to medal in the Olympic Games when he earned a silver as part of the USA’s 4×100 freestyle relay team. Adrian, a relay gold medalist in Beijing, swam the first leg of the event, which was won by France.
With Adrian getting out quickly and Michael Phelps appearing in top form, the Americans built a lead over the first three legs. But in the final leg, Ryan Lochte, who had a half body length on France when he entered the water, was run down by Yannick Agnel, a towering 20-year-old.
Agnel touched the pool deck in 3:09.03 while the U.S., in a reversal of the outcome between the squads in the same race four years ago, settled for the silver in 3:10.38. Phelps’ medal was the 17th of his Olympic career.
The medal was Adrian’s second after his gold four years ago in the same relay race, when he swam in the prelims only. Adrian goes Tuesday in the 100-meter freestyle. He won the event at the U.S. Trials.