New kids on the bloc: American teenage sensations win swimming golds
Can you remember what you were doing when you were just 15 years old?
Katie Ledecky certainly will be able to, as she won the women’s 800m final at the London Olympics.
Great Britain was represented by world record holder Rebecca Adlington who was expected to contend, but had to settle for the bronze.
With the hope of a nation to pick up its first gold medal in the pool, she was unable to maintain the blistering pace of the young American who went out hard early and seemed to somewhat disturb Rebecca’s game plan.
Adlington broke down at the medal ceremony. The huge crowd, which included Royals William and Kate and King (LeBron) James, gave her the reception she deserved for picking up another bronze medal to go alongside her two golds from Beijing.
The relatively unknown Ledecky is the youngest athlete in the United States team. She was simply dominant in her debut event, as she led from start to finish to claim the gold and become the envy of all her school friends back in her hometown of Maryland.
It was a night for the young Americans as 17-year-old Missy Franklin claimed her third gold medal of the games by winning the 200m backstroke.
Franklin’s trademark smile was on full display as she glanced at her world record time of 2:04:06.
It was clear from the outset that Franklin was in control as she touched the wall nearly a second ahead of Russia’s Anastasia Zueva.
Franklin will get a chance to claim her fifth medal of the games on Saturday in the 400m medley in what has been a brutal schedule for the American.
Meanwhile, Michael Phelps won his last individual race as he defended his title in the 100m butterfly.
His time of 51.21 was slightly ahead of the fast finishing Chad Le Clos, as Phelps made up for his close loss to the South African in the 200m Butterfly.
Phelps is favoured to win his 18th gold medal tomorrow night as part of the men’s 4X100 relay, in what would be a fitting farewell to one of the all-time great sporting careers.
France’s Florent Manaudou later won the men’s 50m final at the London Olympic Aquatic Centre.
Florent, the brother of Laure who won three medals including gold at the 2004 Athens Games, embraced his younger brother poolside after the inspirational swim.
Manue was the last to surface from the water in lane seven, as he led from start to finish to win by 0.2secs in the short race.
The final day of racing will see the men’s and women’s 4x100m medley relays, the men’s 1500m and the Women’s 50m finals as Britain gets its last chance of a gold with Francesca Halsall.
Oliver Neave, Olympics correspondent