LONDON — American Nathan Adrian edged James Magnussen by a fingertip to win the Olympic 100m freestyle swimming gold Wednesday, just one of the thrillers on a night that saw two world records fall.
Adrian clocked 47.52sec, beating the Australian sprint powerhouse by one one-hundredth of a second.
“The second 50 was nerve-wracking,” Adrian admitted of the chase to overtake pace-setting world record-holder Cesar Cielo.
Magnussen took silver in 47.53 and Canada’s Brent Hayden — second behind Magnussen at last year’s world championships — earned bronze in 47.80.
Hungarian Daniel Gyurta got the evening off to a rollicking start with a world record victory in the men’s 200m breaststroke.
Rebecca Soni added another world record in the semifinals of the women’s 200m breaststroke, advancing in emphatic style in her defense of the title she won in Beijing.
First, however, it was Gyurta’s turn. The two-time world and European champion had seized the lead from defending Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima by the final turn and stormed home with Britain’s Michael Jamieson pushing him all the way.
The duel sent the crowd into a frenzy, but it was Gyurta’s gold in 2:07.28.
Jamieson took silver in 2:07.43 and Japan’s Ryo Tateishi sneaked past the fading Kitajima to claim bronze in 2:08.29 — a full second adrift.
US superstar Michael Phelps, meanwhile, finished second in a head-to-head semifinal clash with teammate Ryan Lochte in the 200m individual medley.
Phelps was enjoying himself and the success of his teammates on a night that ended with his training partner Allison Schmitt anchoring America to a women’s 4x200m freestyle relay victory in an Olympic record of 7:42.92.
Australia finished second in 7:44.41 and France claimed bronze in 7:47.49.
Jiao Liuyang kept the gold flowing for rising pool power China as well with a victory in the women’s 200m butterfly, four years after settling for silver in Beijing behind teammate Liu Zige.
China wins diving gold
China swept the synchronized diving events at the London Olympics, winning the men’s 3-meter springboard to put it halfway toward taking all the gold medals.
Qin Kai and Luo Yutong led all six rounds of the final, totaling 477.00 points. It was Qin’s second straight Olympic title, having won the event four years ago in Beijing with a different partner.
Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov of Russia took the silver at 459.63. Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais of the US earned the bronze at 446.70. It was the first Olympic medal of Dumais’ long career. — Agencies