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Allison Schmitt, not Natalie Coughlin, gets last spot on relay

August 04, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Natalie Coughlin apparently will not get a chance to win a record 13th medal in these Olympics.
Natalie Coughlin apparently will not get a chance to win a record 13th medal… (Nhat V. Meyer / MCT )

LONDON -- Natalie Coughlin apparently will not get a chance to win a record 13th medal during these Olympics.

Allison Schmitt, not Coughlin, was selected to fill the final spot for the United States in the 400-meter medley relay. The lineup has not officially been released, but Dana Vollmer tweeted the lineup late Saturday afternoon.

Coughlin did not make the U.S. team in any individual events, but she did qualify for the 400-meter freestyle relay. The U.S. won gold in the event, so Coughlin won her 12th career Olympic medal, lifting her into a tie with Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the lead among America's female swimmers.

The U.S. enters two swimmers in each of the four individual 100-meter events. In Friday's medley relay preliminaries, the U.S. used the swimmer who finished with the second-best time in each event. In the finals, the U.S planned to use the swimmer who finished with the best time in each event,

However, since Missy Franklin had the best U.S. time in the 100 free and the 100 back, that left an opening -- potentially for Coughlin, in what could have been a storybook ending. The U.S. coaches opted for Allison Schmitt, who already has won four medals in these Olympics.

Schmitt is expected to swim the freestyle leg. She swam her leg of the 400-meter free relay in 53.54 seconds. Coughlin swam her leg in 53.93 seconds.

Coughlin won six medals in Beijing, the record for U.S. female swimmers in a single Olympics. With a medal in the medley relay, Franklin and Schmitt would finish these Games with five apiece.

Vollmer's tweet: "Let's go ladies, its the Last One! Let's make it the best one & have a blast! 4x100medley relay!!" The tweet referenced Franklin, Schmitt and Rebecca Soni. Vollmer and Soni each set world records here, Vollmer in the 100 fly and Soni in the 200 breast.

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