August 13, 2008

Lezak Continues Medal Run, Wins Bronze in 100 Freestyle at Olympics

Aug. 13, 2008

BEIJING, China - Former UC Santa Barbara swimmer Jason Lezak, seeded sixth in the 100 meter freestyle at the Olympic Games in Beijing, tied for third, winning his second medal of the competition.

Alain Bernard of France won the event, beating out world record-holder Eamon Sullivan of Australia.

Bernard touched in 47.21 seconds Thursday morning, with Sullivan taking the silver in 47.32.

Lezak, the former Gaucho, and Cesar Cielo of Brazil, tied for the bronze in 47.67. Two-time defending champion Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands was fifth in 47.75.

Bernard avenged his loss to Lezak on the anchor leg of the 400 freestyle relay Monday, when the 32-year-old American outtouched Bernard at the wall. That preserved Michael Phelps' bid to win eight gold medals at these games.

Earlier, Kosuke Kitajima of Japan won the 200-meter breaststroke, becoming the first swimmer to sweep the breaststroke events at consecutive Olympics.

He won the 200 Thursday in 2 minutes, 7.64 seconds, lowering the Olympic record time of 2:08.61 he set in the semifinals. Kitajima won the 100 in world-record time Monday.

Brenton Rickard of Australia earned the silver in 2:08.88. Hugues Duboscq of France took the bronze in 2:08.94; he also won bronze in the 100. American Scott Spann finished sixth.

With five gold medals and five world records already, Michael Phelps finally had a finals-free morning.

He merely had to get through a semifinal of the 200 individual medley, then return in the evening for the preliminaries of the 100 butterfly.

Phelps easily advanced to the 200 IM final, winning his semifinal heat in 1 minute, 57.70 seconds. Phelps' teammate and main rival, Ryan Lochte, won his heat in 1:57.69, making him the top qualifier, with Phelps second overall. They will swim the final Friday morning.

Phelps is 5-for-5 in his events so far, setting world records each time.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.