Dec. 19, 2009
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - California junior standout Nathan Adrian swam the lead-off leg of the United State's world record-setting 400 free relay and became the first American to swim under 21 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle Saturday, Dec. 19 during the second day of the 2009 Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool at the Manchester Aquatic Center in Manchester, England.
In the final event of the Duel in the Pool, the United States' 400 free relay team of Adrian, Matt Grevers, Garrett Weber-Gale and Michael Phelps established a new world record with a time of 3:03.30, smashing the old mark of 3:04.98 set by France in December of 2008. Adrian led-off the race with an American record time of 45.08 in the 100 free, topping his previous record of 45.42 set yesterday in the competition's individual 100 free, followed by Grevers (44.68), Garrett Weber-Gale (47.43) and Phelps (46.11) to complete the world record swim.
Earlier Saturday Adrian became the first man in the U.S. to swim under 21 seconds in the 50 free with a time of 20.71, breaking Sabir Muhammad's American record of 21.07 set at the World Cup last month. He finished the two-day event winning two individual races and being a key component on two world record relays. On Friday, Adrian won the 100-meter freestyle in a then-American record 45.42, and anchored the United States' world record-setting 400 medley relay (3:2071) with a time of 44.81 in the 100 free.
Adrian, who has developed into one of the world's premier sprinters, was a 2008 Olympic gold medalist as a member of the United States' 400-meter freestyle relay team in Beijing and went on to become the 2009 NCAA champion in the 50 (18.71) and 100-yard freestyle (41.08) last March in College Station, Texas. Adrian was the 2009 Pac-10 champion in the 50, 100 and 200 free as well, earning Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year accolades.
Team USA ended up winning the 2009 Duel in the Pool, 185-78, with the U.S. men topping the European squad, 95-37. In individual events, teams received five points for first, three points for second and one point for third. In relays, first place was worth seven points. The bi-annual Duel in the Pool competition is a made-for-TV event, designed to showcase the sport's top swimmers. This year's Duel had a new format with Team USA facing a team comprised of top swimmers from Great Britain, Germany and Italy. A two-hour broadcast of the event will air on NBC Sunday, Dec. 27 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.