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Hall anchors rally as U.S. takes gold

A great swim by Gary Hall enabled the United States to maintain its monopoly of the Olympic men's 400 freestyle relay Tuesday.

Hall, the individual 100 freestyle silver medalist, clinched the seventh U.S. victory in the event on the anchor leg, taking over with his team third. Hall's split was 47.45, the fastest 100 ever swum.

"After yesterday's swim I was a little bit disappointed after losing to (Russian Alexander) Popov in the 100," Hall said.

"But I woke up today very hopeful. And the speed was there."

The Russians put Popov second in the relay, and he helped grab a lead. But the Americans kept Hall back as the anchor, and he overtook everyone for the win on the last leg.

The United States won in 3 minutes, 15.41 seconds. Russia was second in 3:17.06 and Germany third in 3:17.20.

Largo's Scott Tucker, a Seminole High graduate and a swimmer for Auburn, did not swim in the final but saw action in the preliminaries. Tucker qualified for the relay by finishing sixth in the 100 free at the Olympic trials.

Danyon Loader of New Zealand won his second gold in the men's 400-meter freestyle in 3:47.97. Paul Palmer of Great Britain won the silver in 3:49.00, and Daniel Kowalski of Australia won the bronze in 3:49.39.

Conspicuous by his absence was top-seeded Tom Dolan of the United States, who did not reach the final.