London 2012 Olympics: Swimming day two

Great Britain go for their first medals in the pool in two of the four finals on day two of the London Olympics.

29 July 2012 Last updated at 21:27

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As it happened

  1. 2122: 

    That's that for tonight. Come back on Monday, here's what we'll have from 19:30 BST:

    Men's 200m freestyle final - GB's Robbie Renwick faces swimming giants Ryan Lochte of the US and Sun Yang of China.

    Women's 100m backstroke final - Australia's Emily Seebohm looks in great form but she faces US star-in-the-making Missy Franklin and Britain's Gemma Spofforth.

    Men's 100m backstroke final - Liam Tancock looked impressive up against France's Camille Lacourt earlier. Can he do it again and get a medal in this final?

    Women's 100m breaststroke final - Whether you prefer to say Ruta Meilutyte's Lithuanian or Devonian, she's certainly surprising people with her form in the Aquatics Centre. After a European record in tonight's semi, can she challenge American Rebecca Soni for gold?

    We'll soon find out.

    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    "It was such a huge demand of Lochte. I think they hoped they would dominate before then. What a night for the French swimming team, they didn't get the Olympics but they have had two golds tonight. I had a funny feeling about Lochte, he has guts but I think they were hoping for a lead for him."

    Steve Parry, Olympic swimming bronze medallist and BBC pundit

    "That was a really big turn-up for the books. Can you believe that is Phelps' first silver medal?"

    Karen Pickering, Former world swimming champion and BBC pundit

    "The passion they had said to me they are still totally miffed about (their near miss in) Beijing four years ago. Maybe Lochte was feeling it a little bit after yesterday. Agnel wanted that gold more than Lochte."

  5. 2117: 

    Rebecca Adlington is the first British woman to ever win swimming medals at two successive Olympic Games.


    GB swimmer Lizzie Simmonds on Twitter: "Massive congrats to @BeckAdlington - a true inspiration. Also @GemmaSpofforth for smashing up the 100m backstroke tonight."


    Rebecca Adlington speaking to reporters at the Aquatics Centre: "After this morning I didn't know what to expect, only qualifying in eighth, and tonight there was no pressure on me at all. I know everyone else wanted to say, 'Oh you got the gold in Beijing,' but to me I was not expecting that at all, so I am so, so pleased with that tonight.

    "I would have liked to go a tiny little bit faster, and equal what I did in March [4:02.35 at the British Championships], but to be honest - with the whole environment - the emotion can take it out of you a little bit."


    A standing ovation as Rebecca Adlington steps up to collect her bronze medal.


    Andrew Ingram on Twitter: "That was AMAZING! Cracking relay! Vive la France!"

  10. 2109: 

    The slow-motion replays of the French team's celebration as Agnel touches for the win are superb. France won in 3:09.93, the US took silver in 3:10.38 and Russia came home for bronze. Australia? Fourth.

  11. 2108: 

    That was stunning from Yannick Agnel swimming the final leg. Michael Phelps had given the US a commanding lead but Agnel powered back to catch Ryan Lochte over the final 100m.

    Agnel made Lochte look as helpless as Lochte made his rival Phelps in last night's 400m medley. An astonishing race and result.


    What a win for France!

  13. 2106: 

    Phelps extends the US lead to 0.76 seconds over France, who are a tiny margin ahead of Australia, languishing in third. It's the American team's to lose.

  14. 2105: 

    At the first change, the US are ahead of Australia and France thanks to a huge swim from Nathan Adrian. Here's Phelps.

  15. 2103: 

    Australia will have James Magnussen first, then Matt Targett, Eamon Sullivan and James Roberts. Also in the race are South Africa, Germany, Russia, France, Belgium and Italy.

  16. 2102: 

    On to the men's 4x100m freestyle relay. Phelps has the headphones on as he strolls out alongside Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian and Cullen Jones. Adrian takes the opening leg, then Phelps, Jones and Lochte.

  17. 2100: 

    That will be a tasty final, actually. Seebohm, Franklin and Spofforth plus China's Zhao Jing should be interesting. The women's 100m backstroke final is at 19:51 BST on Monday night.

  18. 2059: 

    Emily Seebohm threatened, for a moment, to take Gemma Spofforth's 100m backstroke world record but finishes 0.27secs outside it in 58.39. Spofforth is safely through to the final as sixth-fastest overall.


    Gemma Spofforth tells BBC Sport: "I got the crowd behind me, it was an amazing swim by Missy but the final is really all I came for - to live every moment as it comes and enjoy what I'm doing."

  20. 2056: 

    Georgia Davies was eighth in that first semi for GB, in 1:00.56. The second semi has Australia's Emily Seebohm in lane four, team-mate Belinda Hocking in lane five, China's Zhao Jing in lane two and Zimbabwe legend Kirsty Coventry in lane eight.

  21. 2054: 

    Gemma Spofforth gets the touch in third, in a time of 59.70. The second semi is expected to be fast but that ought to get her through. Missy Franklin was fastest in 59.12. Second women's 100m backstroke semi coming up.

  22. 2051: 

    Gemma Spofforth in lane seven of this first semi. You'll also find GB team-mate Georgia Davies, who set a faster time than Spofforth in this morning's heats, in lane three, and United States 17-year-old Missy Franklin in lane four.


    Mark Foster on BBC One: "I do a lot of stuff with Gemma, I speak to her quite often - she is a wonderful person and a great athlete. I want to see her get into this final."


    Britain's Gemma Spofforth, about to go in the women's 100m backstroke semis: "My last two years have been shadowed with doubt and not wanting to swim. But since trials, I've been the happiest I've been in my whole career.

    "It's changed everything about my training and my world, and I'm really excited about what's to come. One of my biggest things that I struggled with for a long time is how selfish an athlete can be, how much we take from so many different areas of our lives - friends, family, coaches.

    "One thing I've learnt is yes, I'm being selfish in a lot of ways, but I'm giving back in a lot of ways too. Whatever I do in the pool is 100% all I've got."

  25. 2047: 
  26. 2045: 

    Left to run tonight: the women's 100m backstroke semis now, then the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final - starring Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the US quartet.


    BBC swimming analyst Karen Pickering on Twitter: "Liam Tancock's going to need some BIG noise from the crowd to help him finish strong tomorrow night!"


    Ian Thorpe on BBC One: "Applause to Becky Adlington. There was so much pressure on her to perform, there was talk of her not even winning a medal. I was impressed by the way she took it out and put herself through the most pain possible to secure that medal. Hats off to Becky for that performance.

    "We can have a bit more confidence, now, in delivering the result Team GB wants to see in the 800m."

    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    "Tancock has to run his own race tomorrow, Grevers is the man to beat for sure."

  30. 2039: 

    Liam Tancock's 100m backstroke final will be at 19:58 BST on Monday night.


    gav_pat on Twitter: "@beckadlington Well done that was amazing you are an inspiration - and such a lovely girl medal number 2 for #TeamGB yeah!"

    Sean Davies on Twitter: "Well done Rebecca Adlington!! Done us proud and another medal!!"

    Neil Dodsworth on Twitter: "@BeckAdlington, superb swim, such a strong finish too, augurs well for 800m."

  32. 2038: 

    In the second men's 100m backstroke semi-final, Matt Grevers swims to 52.66 to win. He's the only one quicker than Tancock from that semi, though, so Tancock is through to the final third-fastest - an excellent performance.


    GB rower Mark Hunter on Twitter: "Great swim for a great medal Rebecca Adlington. Looking forward to seeing you dominating the 800m!"


    Annie Martin on Twitter: "I've given myself a headache shouting at the tele for Adlington and Tancock."


    Liam Tancock: "I was actually really pleased with that. It was tough this morning but this support really does make a difference. I did a decent time again, I'll go back and try to find a few tenths or hundredths for tomorrow hopefully.

    "I'm definitely up for this. The crowd is tremendous and thanks to all of you guys out there for helping me swim fast."

  36. 2033: 

    Earlier tonight: watch Dana Vollmer win Olympic gold and a world record in the women's 100m butterfly.

  37. 2033: 

    Usually, Tancock goes out fast and fades a little at the end. This time, he took an entirely different strategy and it looks like it paid off handsomely. We'll hear from him soon.

  38. 2032: 

    Liam Tancock turns a fraction behind French favourite Camille Lacourt but he comes right back, unlike his usual strategy, and only just touches behind Lacourt - 53.03 to 53.25. Through to the final for sure, both of them.


    GB swimmer James Goddard on Twitter: "Nice one Rebecca Adlington - bronze medal, came back like a train, well done Becks."

  40. 2030: 

    Rebecca Adlington finishes up her BBC interview with a "Go Liam!" as Mr Tancock takes to the poolside for his men's 100m backstroke semi-final.

    Karen Pickering, Former world swimming champion and BBC pundit

    "We said if she was there or thereabouts she was the person for the closing stages. That is her strength. Give her an opportunity and she will take it. A fantastic performance from Rebecca, what a gutsy swim. The crowd love it."


    More from Rebecca Adlington: "I know so many people wanted me to get the gold but I'm so pleased with that. Everyone has just been so amazing. And these guys [gesturing at the crowd], it's amazing the support I've had. My followers on Twitter have gone up by 30,000, just being here."


    Rebecca Adlington: "I'm crying because it's so overwhelming, the crowd. Twelve years of hard work has gone into that and it's hard, it was so hard. It's always the 400m that feels tougher than the 800m. I'm so glad I got a medal at a home Games - not many people can say that."


    Muffat's 4:01.45 is a new Olympic record. Allison Schmitt, second, swam 4:01.77 and Adlington took bronze in 4:03.01.


    Rebecca Adlington comes home for bronze from lane eight and waves, an exhausted little wave but still a wave, to the crowd - who love her for it. It's more than many expected.


    France's Camille Muffat makes good on her status as the favourite and wins from Allison Schmitt. Rebecca Adlington takes bronze for Great Britain!

  47. 2024: 

    300m gone: Muffat or Schmitt for the gold? Looks that way. A little behind the world record now. Adlington still in touch for that medal...

  48. 2023: 

    200m gone: Rebecca Adlington hovering around bronze-medal position. Muffat still ahead of Schmitt, now 0.38secs ahead.

    Nick Hope, BBC Sport

    "Huge greeting for Rebecca Adlington, but unlike the majority of the other athletes who gave a wave to the crowd, there was no reaction from the defending Olympic champion - she knows this is business time."

  50. 2022: 

    100m gone: Camille Muffat of France, fastest in the world this year, leads from Allison Schmitt. Inside the world record.

  51. 2021: 

    A deep breath from Adlington, up onto the block, and away they go.

  52. 2021: 

    Goggles on, focused, barely any expression - that's Rebecca Adlington as the Aquatics Centre erupts. There could not be more noise. Ready?


    Clare Balding on BBC One: "To be realistic, very few people are expecting Rebecca Adlington to defend her Olympic title. A medal would be a sensational result."

    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    "Van der Burgh paced it. He held a little bit from his semi-final - he has learnt in the last couple of years to use his 50m speed and make the most if it in his 100m. As for Hansen the comeback kid coming third, I was not even sure he would make the team. I think you have three very happy people on the podium."

  55. 2018: 

    This is it. Women's 400m freestyle final. Rebecca Adlington can be found in lane eight.

  56. 2018: 

    Second behind Van der Burgh is Christian Sprenger for Australia, then Brendan Hansen from the US. Kosuke Kitajima was fifth in 59.79 - no historic win for him.


    Cameron van der Burgh has a new world record! The time is 58.46 and he lies on the lane rope, basking in the glory with a smile as wide as the pool. He took 0.12 secs off Brenton Rickard's previous record.


    South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh leads at the turn and breezes past Kitajima to win the title.

    Nick Hope, BBC Sport

    "There's something very surreal about seeing an athlete in action at the Olympics, like Ruta Meilutyte, who was born 1997. I guess Rio 2016 will see the first Olympians born in the 21st Century - now how old will that make you feel?"

  60. 2013: 

    Men's 100m breaststroke final time. Some notes:

    South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh, in lane four, broke the Olympic record yesterday to get to this point - his time was 58.83 seconds.

    Fabio Scozzoli, from Italy, was a silver medallist at last year's Worlds and he's in lane five next to Van der Burgh. His qualifying time was 59.44.

    Also keep an eye on Australia's Christian Sprenger (lane six, qualified in 59.61) and team-mate Brenton Rickard (lane three, the other side of Van der Burgh) who was slightly faster in 59.50.

    Lest we forget Japan's Kosuke Kitajima - in lane seven, the 29-year-old is going for a third consecutive Olympic title. If he gets it, he'll be the first to do so in swimming history. Will it happen at these Games? He has a couple of chances.


    Liam Tancock interview on BBC One: "I want the crowd to shout as loud as possible. People talk about home-crowd advantage but we'll walk out behind the block and hopefully it'll be electrifying.

    "Most people think of me as a 50m swimmer but it's not really been my focus. That sounds strange when I'm the world champion but the 100m is the thing, that's what I've been training for."

    Tancock is up in the men's 100m backstroke semis from around 20:30 BST.

  62. 2007: 

    And now, on BBC One, a small child in a Team GB hat engages in a sing-off against a group of buoyant Lithuanian fans. Will Rebecca Adlington give him some back-up in that contest? We find out in about 15 minutes.


    Ian Thorpe on BBC One: "Ruta Meilutyte is looking at getting the gold now. She trains in Plymouth and that adds value to the other British athletes, having a talented athlete like that training there."

  64. 2003: 

    If you'd like to follow Plymouth's adopted Lithuanian teenage swimming sensation on Twitter, she's @MeilutyteRuta.

  65. 2001: 

    Ruta Meilutyte is clearly out on her feet. Appearing on live TV for a post-race interview, she seems utterly stunned by her own superb swim and can barely articulate a word. Nobody's going to blame her. She's 15 and has had the swim of her life.

  66. 2000: 

    Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte wins her women's 100m breaststroke semi in a new European record 1:05.21, qualifying fastest for the final, ahead of Russia's Iuliia Efimova and Australian defending Olympic champion Leisel Jones.

    Meilutyte is no stranger to Britain, by the way. She might swim for Lithuania but she lives and trains in Plymouth.

    We think there's a swim-off for eighth place in that final, by the way.


    Mark Foster on Ellen Gandy on BBC One: "I think she will be a little bit disappointed with eighth but all the other swimmers were 50m or 100m swimmers rather than 200m swimmers. With her, every race she tends to get faster. This has been perfect preparation for her strongest event later in the week."


    Simon Fallaha on Twitter: "Just rewatched Rebecca Adlington's memorable swim of '08 to get me in the mood. Hope it won't be a bad omen..."


    GB swimmer David Carry on Twitter: "Fantastic! Robbie Renwick in the 200m freestyle final! Awesome swim."


    Dana Vollmer on BBC One: "I put that time in my mind. I felt so good in the race. It was awesome to look up and see that I got it."

  71. 1953: 

    Rebecca Soni has a terrible start but hauls it back to win her semi-final in 1:05.98, a little slower than her qualifying time from the heats.


    Andrew Weeks on Twitter: "At the pool to watch Georgia Davies - fastest developing British swimmer? We shall see. Place in the final well within her grasp."

    Davies is in action in the women's 100m backstroke semis, a little later tonight.

  73. 1951: 

    We move on to the first of two women's 100m breaststroke semi-finals. This one features Rebecca Soni, the world champion from the United States, who swam to that world title in 1:05.05. She qualified for tonight's semis in a slightly slower 1:05.75.

  74. 1950: 

    And you can catch the men's 200m freestyle final at 19:43 BST on Monday night.

  75. 1949: 

    Sun Yang continues his fine form, winning the second men's 200m free semi in 1:45.61. Robbie Renwick reaches the final, tied for sixth-fastest overall after his swim in the first semi.

  76. 1945: 

    Semi two of the men's 200m freestyle sees China's Sun Yang back in the pool, the night after he became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold medal in the pool.

    He was the fastest qualifier for these semis in 1:46.24 this morning. France's Yannick Agnel, who qualified in 1:46.60, is also worth watching. And Park Tae-hwan, of South Korea, is back up against Sun here. He won silver at Beijing 2008.


    Robbie Renwick: "I was trying to swim my own race. It's going to be tight to get into the final but fingers crossed. The time's OK. If I get into the final I'll give it a good go."

  78. 1942: 

    Germany's Paul Biedermann wins the first men's 200m freestyle semi-final with Ryan Lochte second and Robbie Renwick tying for third in 1:46.65. Biedermann swam 1:46.10, Lochte 1:46.31.


    BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "Ear-rumbling atmos at Aquatics Centre with Adlington's 400m fs final 45 mins away. Big ask, crowd bullish. Ellen Gandy 8th in 100m fly final."

  80. 1938: 

    Next up, men's 200m freestyle semi-finals. The first semi stars GB's Robbie Renwick in lane three. One along, in lane four, American powerhouse Ryan Lochte. Which may actually help pull Renwick along with a view to a place in the final.

  81. 1936: 

    Ellen Gandy finished eighth in that final, in a time of 57.76. "That was an amazing swim by Dana Vollmer, it's great to be a part of that," says Gandy. "Being on the outside, you can't tell where people are. I've got to move on from the disappointment and pick myself up."


    Confirmation of that 55.98 time, 0.08secs inside the previous world record set by Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom three years ago (i.e. in the ultra-fast swimsuit era - 100% polyurethane suits were banned for the start of 2010).


    Dana Vollmer of the United States nicks the world record in 55.98, despite cruising to the finish.

  84. 1933: 

    Dana Vollmer in lane four, Alicia Coutts of Australia next one down and Ellen Gandy at the top of our TV picture as the women's 100m fly final begins.


    Ellen Gandy interview on BBC One: "At an Olympic Games you can't tell who's going to be your main rival. I'm just focusing on my race. When the final comes, it's just putting everything together. I'm so excited."

  86. 1928: 

    In two minutes' time it's the women's 100m butterfly final. Ellen Gandy goes in lane one for Great Britain.

    Notes for this one:

    Ellen Gandy, 20, was fifth at the 2011 World Championships in a time of 57.55. She won this year's British Championships in a British record 57.25, then qualified for tonight's final in 57.66.

    Dana Vollmer was superb for the United States in qualifying. She broke the Olympic record in a time of 56.25 this morning and looks supremely confident in the pool.

    Nick Hope, BBC Sport at the Aquatics Centre

    "Worth keeping an eye on the first final of the evening, the women's 100m butterfly.

    "Great Britain's Ellen Gandy won a silver medal in the 200m event at last year's World Championships and she certainly has good speed for the sprint as well.

    "Australia-based Gandy is in lane eight but her qualifying time for the event, 57.66 seconds, was less than half a second off third-quickest qualifier Jeanette Ottesen Gray of Denmark.

    "An outside lane, and an outside chance of a medal."

  88. 1922: 

    Coming up a little later are the semi-finals of the men's 100m backstroke, featuring Britain's Liam Tancock. The Devonian's an expert over the 50m (non-Olympic) distance but has a tendency to run out of gas over two lengths. Can he keep going tonight, get into the final and set up a medal opportunity? He goes at around 20:30 BST.

  89. 1920: 

    Alongside our TV and online video coverage, you can also listen to BBC Radio 5 live at the Aquatics Centre.


    Rebecca Adlington interview on BBC One: "I don't have any regrets at all. I've learnt more from my not-so-good swims than I have my good swims, and it's made me the swimmer I am now."


    US 100m fly swimmer Dana Vollmer on Twitter: "Here we go America! All I can ask of myself is my best, and I am so ready to bring it!"

  92. 1915: 

    Tell me, then. What colour medal, if any, for Rebecca Adlington? Will Phelps and Lochte combine for relay gold? What about Ellen Gandy's chances tonight? Use the hashtag #bbc2012 on Twitter to talk to us.


    Joshua Drane on Twitter: "Can't see gold for Adlington in the 400m but a good display will put her in good stead for the 800m which she should win."

  94. 1910: 

    Elsewhere on the menu: Britain's Ellen Gandy in the 100m butterfly final starts the evening at 19:30, then Ryan Lochte and Sun Yang are big names in the men's 200m freestyle semi-finals - the event Michael Phelps dropped from his schedule for London 2012.

    The men's 100m breaststroke final precedes Rebecca Adlington's 400m freestyle final just after 20:00 local time, and the last final of the night sees Lochte and team-mate/rival Phelps united under the American banner in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay.

  95. 1906: 

    All of which means that neither the Olympic champion nor the world champion start as favourite in Adlington's race at 20:18 BST tonight.

    Instead, watch out for French duo Camille Muffat and Coralie Balmy, plus the United States' Allison Schmitt. It'll be tough for Adlington to get a medal, let alone defend her title, but she "has a lane" (as they say) so she has a chance.

  96. 1904: 

    This morning, Adlington swam 4:05.75 in her 400m freestyle heat - more than enough to win it comfortably but, as it turned out, only just enough to squeak into her final in lane eight. Federica Pellegrini, Italy's double world champion, made the cut in similarly narrow fashion as seventh-fastest.

  97. 1859: 

    Hello, everybody.

    The first London 2012 final, then, for the lady granted the eternal freedom of Mansfield: Rebecca Adlington. She almost didn't make it through the morning's heats - but tonight, she defends the 400m freestyle Olympic title.

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