Soni Golden Again, Mellouli Gets Bronze|
Aug. 4, 2012
Soni's medal was her third of the games and second gold following a win in the 200m breaststroke and a silver in the 100m breast.
USC now has eight medal these games, including three gold, two silver and three bronze.
Soni now has six career medals, three gold and three silver. One of those silvers came in the 400m medley relay in Beijing. Today in London, she was part of an American quartet that set a world record en route to gold.
The foursome of Missy Franklin, Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt won in 3:52.05. Soni's blistering breaststroke leg of 1:04.82 was fastest in the field and provided a big lead halfway through the race over eventual second-place Australia.
Mellouli, representing Tunisia, entered today's 1500m free as the defending gold medal champion from 2008, but an underdog to China's Sun Yang, who broke the 10-year-old world record in the event in 2011.
Yang led start to finish and lowered his world mark to 14:31.02, leaving the battle for silver and bronze. Mellouli was in fourth through the first 950 meters before moving into third at 1000 and settled in behind Canada's Ryan Cochrane, who had a two-second advantage over the Tunisian.
Mellouli, in his fourth Olympics, slowly crept up on Cochrane over the next 450 meters and got to within 0.54 with 50 meters to go, but Cochrane held off a final charge to secure the silver in 14:39.63 to Mellouli's 14:40.31. Mellouli's time was a half second better than his winning time in Beijing.
Mellouli's schedule is not done. He will compete for the first time in the Marathon 10K open water race on Aug. 10.
On Aug. 9, senior All-American Haley Anderson will compete in the women's Marathon 10K as she makes her Olympic debut.