Why the U.S. Men’s Swim Relay Failed

Sometimes you take great risk and great gains are soon to come. And if you can take great risks at the right time and pull them off successfully, you can be a hero. This is what went behind the thinking of the men’s 400 relay swim at the Aquatics Centre in London last night. What we saw in turn though, was what happened when risk goes awry. Everything looks like it’s all going to pan out in the beginning, until it all starts to slowly crumble. Eventually, victory slips right through the cracks. But those to blame for the U.S. defeat in the 400-meter freestyle relay on Sunday weren’t in the water but rather, on the sidelines coaching.

For the men’s U.S. swimming team, Gregg Troy had Nathan Adrian start things off for the great speed and head start that Adrian could give the team. Michael Phelps was next; and after a disappointing showing on Saturday at the 400 IM, it was he who overcame the rumors and performed at the level people know him for.

Jones was third in line, and after having to recover his reputation from a horrible loss at the 2008 Olympics against Beijing. Jones performed extremely well along with the rest of his team, saying afterwards that he was “really happy with my effort. I didn’t do my part in 2008.” Everything looked good for the American team, and then the final swimmer, Ryan Lochte was up. And the sad fact of the matter was, that he shouldn’t have been there. He just wasn’t ready; and Troy shouldn’t have put him in there.

Lochte has swam the 100-meter before, but not much; and he had never performed the part of the anchor before in the 400 freestyle relay during a major national or international event. The Olympic stadium was not the place to do it. The Australian to his

Lochte started off very well, looking like he was actually sprinting through the first fifty yards. But that’s exactly what did him in at the end. “I over-swam the first 50,” Lochte said after the race, “which hurt me in the last 50.”

But while Lochte was putting the blame on himself, coach Gregg Troy was also owning up to some mistakes. “I knew on the first 25 he was in trouble,” Troy said afterwards. “Kind of a coaching error.”

But, Troy was also asked what he would change, should his team be able to swim the same relay. “No,” he admitted. “I think we probably would’ve swam the same relay.”

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