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Beisel takes silver in 400 IM

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  July 28, 2012 03:22 PM

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LONDON -- Elizabeth Beisel won a silver medal in the women's 400 individual medley Saturday night at the Aquatic Center at the London Olympics, finishing behind China's Ye Shiwen, who set a world record.

"I'm totally satisfied," said Beisel, who finished fourth in the event four years ago and was aiming to become the first US woman since Janet Evans in 1988 to win the event.

"A gold would be a little bit cooler but I can't complain. I'm just really excited right now."

The Saunderstown, Rhode Island native, the reigning world champion and considered by many the favorite, finished in a time of 4 minutes 31.27 seconds, nearly three seconds behind Ye's record time of 4:28.43.

She topped the standard of 4:29.45 set by Australia's Stephanie Rice four years ago in Beijing.

China's Li Xuanxu won the bronze (4:32.91).

Beisel, who had the fastest time in the morning prelims, started slowly and was in eighth place after the first leg, the butterfly. But she moved up to second during the backstroke, and led by .81 seconds after the breaststroke, the third leg of the race.

But Ye caught and passed her during the final leg, the freestyle. The 16-year-old had a perfectly reasonable explanation afterward.

"In the last 100 meters, I thought I was behind so I tried as hard as I could to catch up," she said.

* * *

Natalie Coughlin won her 12th career medal when the US women won the bronze medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay, but she did not swim in the race.

Coughlin, who tied fellow swimmers Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the most medals by a female US Olympian, was left off the final four after swimming during the preliminary heats earlier in the day.

Australia won the gold, while The Netherlands claimed the silver.

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