French Swimmer Yannick Agnel wins 200m Freestyle Gold
French swimmer Yannick Agnel crushed the field for the 200 metres freestyle gold Monday here at the Olympics.
Agnel led from the start and won by body length in 1 minute 43.14 seconds, with South Korea’s Taehwan Park tying with China’s Yang Sun for silver, both clocking 1:44.93.
“I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t have a plan for the race and it’s above all my hopes and expectations, especially the time I did,” Agnel said.
It’s Agnel’s second gold after he led France home in the 4×100 metres relay Sunday, powering past American ace Ryan Lochte in the home straight.
In this race, Lochte was second at the final turn but was pushed off the podium for fourth.
“I wasn’t expecting other people to be so slow, especially with all the other competitors like Lochte,” Agnel said.
Lochte, who won the 400-metre medley gold Saturday, acknowledged getting his game plan wrong.
“I guess I took it out a little too fast. 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.”
Silver medallist Park, who also was runner-up in Beijing, suggested he never had a chance of winning.
“I didn’t get gold. The competitors were such high-ranking athletes, it was an honour to be in the same race,” said Park.
“They are so fast,” he chuckled.
“I didn’t have enough confidence before the race but my Korean teammates encouraged me by saying good things.”