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London Olympics: Peter Vanderkaay wins bronze in 400-meter free

July 28, 2012|By Lisa Dillman
  • Peter Vanderkaay of the U.S. competes during a preliminary heat on Saturday.
Peter Vanderkaay of the U.S. competes during a preliminary heat on Saturday. (Adam Pretty / Getty Images )

LONDON -- Two finals and two medals for the United States.

Peter Vanderkaay, of Rochester, Mich., took third in the star-studded men's 400-meter freestyle Saturday, in 3:44.69. He was 4.55 behind the gold-medalist, Yang Sun of China, who won in 3:40.14.

South Korea's Taehwan Park, the Olympic champion four years ago, took the silver in 3:42.06.

Park had a strange path to the podium, having originally been disqualified for a false start in the morning heats. This paved the way for the ninth-place finisher in the preliminaries, Ryan Cochrane of Canada, to make the eight-man final.

But several hours and one appeal later, Park was back in Saturday's final and Cochrane was out.

The reason for the reversal was unclear. On Saturday, FINA, swimming's governing body, issued a statement, which was murky even by its often mysterious standards. It read in part:

"The FINA Jury of Appeal met today in the Aquatic Centre and examined the protest lodged by the Korean Swimming Federation regarding the disqualification of swimmer Tae-Hwan Park in the heats of the men’s 400m free, and based on the recommendation of the FINA Technical Swimming Commission decided to reinstate the above mentioned swimmer in the final of the men’s 400m free."

Vanderkaay took bronze after U.S. teammate Ryan Lochte cruised to gold in the men's 400-meter individual medley. Michael Phelps was fourth.

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