France’s Agnel Again Outswims Lochte, Chinese Men Win Gymnastics

China Wins Olympic Men’s Synchronized 10-Meter Platform Dive
Yuan Cao and Yanquan Zhang of China compete in the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Diving on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in London. Photographer: Al Bello/Getty Images

Yannick Agnel of France won his second swimming gold medal of the London Games, again outracing American Ryan Lochte. U.S. high school senior Missy Franklin was among two teenaged women’s Olympic champions in the pool.

China maintained its lead in the medals standings by winning in men’s team gymnastics and men’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving. After three full days of competition, China has nine golds among its 17 medals. The U.S. also has 17 medals, five of them gold.

France is in fifth place overall including three golds -- two of which have come from Agnel, 20, who led the entire race yesterday in the 200-meter freestyle. A night earlier, he passed Lochte on the last lap of the 400-meter freestyle relay final for the win.

“It’s pure happiness,” Agnel told reporters. “We’re very pleased because it’s a reward for several years of very hard work.”

Twelve medals were awarded yesterday, in weightlifting, judo, fencing and shooting as well as swimming, diving and gymnastics. Fifteen medal events are on the schedule for today, including women’s team gymnastics and four more in swimming. The London Olympics started July 27 and end Aug. 12.

The U.S. women have won the team silver in gymnastics at the past two Olympics, and have not won gold since the 1996 Atlanta Games. China is the defending champion, and the Romanian women are seeking their 10th straight Olympic medal.

Dead Heat

Agnel won the 200 freestyle yesterday in 1 minute, 43.14 seconds. Sun Yang of China and Park Tae-hwan of South Korea finished in a dead heat for the silver medal in 1:44.93. Lochte was fourth in 1:45.04.

“I guess I took it out a little too fast,” Lochte, 27, told reporters. “I knew if I wanted to be in the race I had to go out a little. Next time, I won’t make that same mistake.”

Franklin, a Colorado high school student who shunned sponsors to retain her amateur status, edged Emily Seebohm of Australia to win the 100-meter backstroke in 58.33, breaking her own American record.

Seebohm, 20, who set the Olympic record of 58.23 in qualifying, took silver in 58.68 and Aya Terakawa of Japan was third.

Franklin, who is competing in seven events at the games, the most by a U.S. female swimmer, was asked by reporters whether her performance so far had matched her expectations for the London Games.

Exceeding Expectations

“It is exceeding the expectations one hundred billion times over,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Franklin, 17, wasn’t the only teenager to be crowned a champion in the pool yesterday. Ruta Meilutyte, a 15-year-old from Lithuania, won the 100-meter breaststroke final, edging American Rebecca Soni by eight hundredths of a second. It was her country’s first Olympic swimming gold.

Also at the Aquatics Center, Matt Grevers, 27, set an Olympic record in the final of the men’s 100-meter backstroke, winning gold in 52.16 seconds. American teammate Nick Thoman took silver and Ryosuke Irie of Japan captured the bronze.

The Chinese men’s gymnasts scored 275.997 points in the six-part team final at North Greenwich Arena. That beat Japan with 271.952 and Britain with 271.711, with the Japanese team winning a protest over pommel horse scores to move up. The U.S., the top qualifier, finished fifth.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron attended the diving event and saw Britain finish fourth, behind China, Mexico and the U.S. The host nation is still waiting for its first gold medal.

The U.S. women’s basketball team beat Angola 90-38 in a preliminary round game to extend its Olympic winning streak to 35 matches, while France defeated Australia 74-70 in overtime.

Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland beat Julien Benneteau of France 6-2, 6-2 in a second-round men’s tennis match on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

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