Ryan Lochte is taking flak Monday for blowing the 4×100 relay during competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London Sunday, earning the U.S. team a silver medal instead of gold. Despite a considerable lead throughout the first three legs of the race, and even the beginning of Lochte’s stretch, the U.S. team was overtaken by the French in the final meters of the race.
Now, it seems the star U.S. swimmer has come away from Monday’s 200 Men’s Fresstyle race without even medaling. Ryan Lochte was soundly defeated in the final 50 meters of the 200-meter freestyle by France’s Yannick Agnel on Monday. Yannick Agnel, who took the 4×100 relay lead away from him so swiftly Sunday evening.
Ryan Lochte Blows U.S. Lead in Relay Sunday, Places Fourth in 200-Meter Men’s Freestyle Monday
Lochte said of Monday’s loss, “I guess I did take it out a little too fast,” Lochte said. “I’m a back-half swimmer, but I wanted to get into the race. I’ll live and learn, but I don’t want to make that mistake again.”
This loss somewhat overshadows but in no way negates Lochte’s earlier gold medal win during the 400 IM (Individual Medley); in that race, Lochte beat out rival Michael Phelps, who finished fourth. Lochte has admitted to partying and staying out late to celebrate Saturday’s first-place finish in the 400 IM, leading some to speculate that the partying contributed to the U.S. initially leading, then placing second when Lochte joined the relay.
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Lochte addressed his role in Sunday’s loss. “The 100 free, I don’t really swim it,” Lochte said. “I haven’t swum it in a long time. I think I over-swam the first 50 [meters], which kind of hurt me for the last 50.” Lochte’s coach backed his swimmer up, saying they should have focused more on the 100 free during training. “He doesn’t have much experience there. Kind of a coaching error,” the coach explained.
Was Ryan Lochte Partying Too Close To Competition?
Tucson native and self-confessed sports nut Barry B. was not amused as he watched the Olympics Sunday evening from his Palmdale home. “Why did he let that guy come up on him like that? What a way to blow a good lead,” he commented on Lochte’s performance.
On the Internet, the reaction is similar. A comment from Richard on a Yahoo! Sports article regarding Lochte’s loss reads, “Lochte said he was up until 2AM partying after winning a gold medal yesterday. Too bad the partying couldn’t wait. It sounds like it cost the Americans another gold medal.”
Fellow U.S. Olympic Swim Team member Michael Phelps has also taken heat for partying from fans and critics alike over the years, especially when a photo of Phelps smoking a bong hit the gossip circuit.
What do you think? Should Olympic athletes restrain themselves during the Games, or do they need to blow off steam between events? Comment below!
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