LONDON -- He had one of the fastest reaction time off the blocks, and 21.34 seconds later he had the gold medal.
Florent Manaudou of France became the fastest man in the world -- the unofficial title given to the winner of the men's 50-meter freestyle -- taking the event from an unusual spot, Lane 7, at the Aquatics Centre.
American Cullen Jones (21.54) and defending Olympic champion and world-record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil (21.59) were second and third, respectively. American Anthony Ervin was fifth, in 21.78.
"When you are really envisioning gold, silver just doesn't touch it, but I'm ecstatic," Jones said after the race.
Manaudou is the second member of his family to stand at the top of the podium. His older sister, distance star Laure Manaudou, won the 400-meter freestyle in Athens in 2004.