Larsen Jensen Wins Olympic Bronze In 400m Free

Aug. 9, 2008

Olympic Swim Results

Recent Trojan graduate Larsen Jensen reset the American record in the 400-meter freestyle for the third time in his last three swims, the most recent effort garnering him a bronze medal in the event's final on the first morning of swimming at the 2008 Beijing Olympics on Sunday (Aug. 10).

Jensen, who won the silver medal in the 1500m free at the 2004 Olympics, finished third in 3:42.78. Korean Taehwan Park won the race (3:41.86) while China's Lin Zhang overtook Jensen down the stretch to take second (3:42.44).

Ous Mellouli, a teammate of Jensen while at USC who swims for Tunisian -- and being coached in Beijing by current Trojan Swim Coach Dave Salo - was fifth in 3:43.45, an African record.

Jensen was fourth in 400m free at the 2004 Olympics.

'I probably could have gone out a little faster,' Jensen said. 'I saw (Zhang) next to me in the last 50 and just buried my head. I was hoping for gold, but everyone in that race was. I gave it everything I had.

'Winning bronze this time, I'm more appreciative of what the Games mean. It's an honor to represent the U.S. at such a high level and to come here and compete against the best athletes. It's an honor and privilege to be here, especially to swim in front of the President. There is no greater honor as an athlete than to compete in front of the president.'

Jensen is among the favorites to win the 1500m free, set for Aug. 15 (prelims) and 16 (final).

USC is currently being represented by 41 past, present and future athletes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

Current Trojan senior Rebecca Soni is scheduled to compete in the 100-meter breaststroke later in the evening in Beijing. The semifinals of the event are Aug. 11 and the final is Aug. 12. She will also race in the 200m breast and potentially in the 4x100m medley relay.

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