The U.S. men's 4x100 freestyle relay did a lot more than keep
Taking a cue from that unforgettable relay victory of Monday morning,
Evidently. Joining Coughlin on the medal stand with a bronze medal draped around her neck was teammate
And how do you explain the performance of
Schubert called the trio's performance "a big breakthrough" for the women's team. "I think the girls are starting to relax a bit more and have fun and swim more like themselves."
Until today, the women's performances had lacked what the men's team was producing every morning -- a dose of wow. As the team's anchors, Coughlin and
The only individual swimmer who exceeded expectations was 22-year-old
Coughlin is already a great one; her rising to the occasion for the U.S. team's most solid bet for a women's individual gold was no surprise. On Monday night,
Using one of the best underwater kicks in the world, Coughlin powered to the front early, led Coventry by four-tenths of a second at the turn and finished in 58.96, just 0.19 shy of Coventry's record. "I couldn't be happier," she said. "It's a best time for me, it's a gold medal." She'd trade the world record for that any day.