You snooze, you lose.
Ryan Lochte may have beat Michael Phelps in the 400 IM but he lost to France’s Yannick Agnel on Sunday right before finishing the 4 X 100-meter freestyle relay at the Olympic Aquatic Center, in London.
Agnel sped up, passing Lochte just 50 meters before the Cuban-American swimmer was about to finish first, leaving team U.S.A. to settle for silver medals. Lochte finished with a time of 3:10:38 and France struck gold as Agnel finished at 3:09.93.
“The 100 free, I don’t really swim it; I haven’t swam it in a long time,’’ NBC’s wptv affiliate quotes Lochte saying. “So I think I was just really excited, and I over-swam the first 50, which kind of hurt me for the last 50.”
“You would think doing distance events I wouldn’t get tired,” Lochte continued. “But sprinting takes a lot out of you, and I made that mistake.’’
Russia won bronze with a collective time of 3:11:41 and Australia came in fourth place.
“At least I’m in a medal today,’’ said Phelps, who Lochte beat by more than four seconds in the 400 meter Saturday.
Saturday's event was the first time in 12 years that Phelps did not win a medal. In Bejing, four years ago, the swimmer took home eight gold medals.
Phelps was won 20 gold medals throughout his Olympic career.
"It's just a crappy race," Phelps told ESPN, regarding placing fourth in the race. "It's frustrating. That's all I can say. It's pretty upsetting."
Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, was just as upset and shocked.
"I'm surprised," said Bowman. "And not pleasantly."
Lochte, whose mother is a Cuban immigrant, told ESPN that it felt “really weird” not having Phelps, his main competitor, in the medal ceremony on Saturday but that he is sure Phelps will come back strong.
"I'll tell you this," Lochte told ESPN, "The next races he's in, he's going to light it up."