In the first-ever mixed-gender swimming event at the Olympics, the United States team was undone by an equipment mishap.
Lydia Jacoby, swimming the second leg breaststroke, had her goggles fall from her eyes and get stuck across her face as she dove into the pool, which clearly hindered her performance. She still swam the leg in 1:05, close to her individual swim result, but the U.S. team was put in a hole that it was unable to dig itself out of.
The Americans ended up finishing fifth with a time of 3:40.58. Great Britain took gold with a world-record time of 3:37.58. China came in second at 3:38.86, while Australia won bronze at 3:38.95.
Though the goggles incident was an unfortunate break, it’s no sure thing the U.S. would have been in a position to win even without the goggles falling. Despite the disappointing finish, Jacoby has already made her mark on these Games. She earlier won gold in the women’s 100m individual breaststroke, an incredible result on its own but especially for a 17-year-old making her Olympics debut.
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