Team USA's brutal 117-year first in Olympics swimming shock

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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For the first time since the 200m freestyle relay was introduced in 1094, Team USA did not finish on the podium at the 2021 Tokyo Games. (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)
For the first time since the 200m freestyle relay was introduced in 1094, Team USA did not finish on the podium at the 2021 Tokyo Games. (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

For the first time since the early 1900s, Team USA have failed to make the podium in a men's relay race.

The United States have dominated the 4x200m freestyle relay since first winning gold in the event back in 1920, and have won gold at every Games since 2000.

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That streak came to an end on Wednesday however, and Team USA failed to make the podium in a men's relay race for the first time since they were first introduced at the 1904 Games.

The only other time the USA did not appear on the podium was at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow - which the nation boycotted.

Great Britain claimed the gold on Wednesday, ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee and Australia.

Seventeen years after Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte ushered in the latest era of American relay dominance, the search for the next great defining talent will begin.

Kieran Smith gave the U.S. a healthy lead with his opening leg, but by the time Drew Kibler came home at the halfway point, the lead had been lost to the Brits. 

Zach Apple briefly regained the lead for the American halfway through the third leg, but Team GB’s Matthew Richards pulled away over the final lap of that leg. 

U.S. anchor Townley Haas dove in a full body length behind the leaders, and Britain’s Duncan Scott easily brought gold home.

Phelps retired after 2016. Lochte attempted to qualify for Tokyo, but came up short at trials, and never really came close in the 200 free. The team for Wednesday’s final was strong, and included one member (Apple) of the American team that won the 4x100 relay here on Monday.

But it didn’t have a world-beater like Phelps, or Lochte, or Caeleb Dressel. Turns out greatness is hard to replicate.

Ariarne Titmus secures Australia's equal-best day in Olympics history

Australia's Ariarne Titmus has once again defeated the great Katie Ledecky to win gold in the 200m women's freestyle with an Olympic Record in Tokyo.

After winning the 400m freestyle in thrilling fashion over her fierce American rival, Titmus came into the 200m freestyle as the fastest qualifier.

But, it was Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey leading for 150m of the race as Ledecky fell behind the leaders.

However, just like she did in the 400m, Titmus showed her determination and powered home to grab gold with an Olympic Record.

Titmus clocked an Olympic Record time of 1:53.50 to finish in front of second place Haughey (1:53.92) and Canadian Penny Oleksiak (1:54.70).

Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia poses with the gold medal for the Women's 200m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia poses with the gold medal for the Women's 200m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Aussie said she knew during the race she had Ledecky covered as she surged past her, but was worried about Siobhan who was leading with 50m to go.

“I could see I was trying to move Siobhan down on the third 50. I had no idea where she was on the last lap. I knew I had Katie covered but Siobhan was the person that was there,” Titmus said after the race.

“I felt a little bit ... my legs started to go a bit but I’m happy to get it done.”

The Aussie's remarkable swim was her second gold of the Olympics and Australia's sixth overall.

With Yahoo Sport US/AAP

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