By: Mark Maloney
SEC Digital Network
LONDON — First day of the Olympics, Allison Schmitt won a bronze medal.
Second day, she moved up to silver.
If she keeps the progression going, gold would be next at the Summer Olympic Games.
The Georgia senior, among several Southeastern Conference swimmers on display Sunday in London, still has two events to go. Next is the 200-meter freestyle, with heats and semifinals Monday, followed by finals Tuesday. Her other event is the 800 freestyle relay.
Schmitt’s first-day medal, a bronze, came in the 400 free relay. Sunday, she took silver in the 400 freestyle. Schmitt broke the Olympic record of 4:02.19, set by Italy’s Federica Pellegrini four years ago. But Camille Muffat of France, leading at every turn, had just enough to dip even further under the record.
Muffat touched in 4:01.45, with Schmitt in 4:01.77. Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain gave the Aquatics Centre home-pool crowd something to cheer about with a 4:03.01 bronze-medal finish.
"I knew it was going to be tough and I knew it was going to be close even before it happened," Schmitt said. "I was just racing the whole time. I’m excited to get my first individual medal."
Meanwhile, former Florida (2006) great Ryan Lochte added a 400-meter freestyle silver medal to the 400 individual medley gold he won a day earlier.
Again it was a French triumph, 3:09.93 to Team USA’s 3:10.38 as Yannick Agnel reeled in Lochte, who had a lead to protect. Russia scored bronze in 3:11.41. Australia, with former Auburn (2008) standout Matt Targett on the second leg, took fourth in 3:11.63.
Joining Lochte on the relay were Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps and Cullen Jones.
Earlier, Lochte advanced through heats and semifinals of the 200 freestyle. His 1:46.45 morning swim was second only to China’s Yang Sun.
In the semis, Sun led in 1:45.61. Lochte qualified fifth in 1:46.31.
Two former SEC women were in the pool for other countries.
Zimbabwe’s Kirst Coventry (Auburn, 2005) made it through her morning heat of the 100 backstroke, 14th overall in 1:00.24. However, she was eliminated in the evening semifinals, 14th overall in 1:00.39.
Germany’s Sarah Poewe (Georgia, 2006) had the seventh-best heat time (1:07.12) in 100 breaststroke heats. She was ousted in the semifinals, tied for 11th in 1:07.68.