Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius celebrate their 4x100 relay victory // Getty Images


Déjà two all over again

BARCELONA — With Michael Phelps watching from the stands, the U.S. men took a lead into the final leg of the men’s 4×100 relay here Sunday night at the Palau Sant Jordi.

As the old building roared, what happened in the next 48 or so seconds was either a bad case of déjà two all over again or a matter of the Americans playing not for short-term glory but for long-term reward. Depends on your point of view.


USA Swimming’s night to celebrate

NEW YORK — Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps’ coach, came first. At a filled-to-the-max ballroom here at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, Bowman won USA Swimming’s “coach of the year” award at its annual gala, called the “Golden Goggles,” and when he took to the stage he had this to say:

“Michael, it has been a privilege to be your coach. It has been even better to be your friend.”


Anthony Ervin’s fantastic journey keeps on keeping on

OMAHA — After one of the early rounds of the 50-meter freestyle here at the U.S. Trials, Anthony Ervin came out of the water and went over for one of those quicky interviews with NBC’s Andrea Kremer. Everyone knows the deal. Except with Anthony Ervin, nothing is ever quite you expect.

So, Anthony, Andrea asked, what does swimming mean to you now? Andrea, a pro’s pro, knew full well that he was the 2000 Sydney Games gold medalist in the 50 free and had come back to the sport after a long break during which he’d done some other stuff, a lot of which was really interesting, some hugely introspective, huge chunks of which we may never know about. That’s all part of being Anthony Ervin.