LONDON (Reuters) - Nathan Adrian won the 100 meters freestyle final at the London Olympics on Wednesday to become the first American to win gold in the blue-riband sprint for nearly a quarter of a century.
In a desperate finish, Adrian got his fingers on the wall 0.01 seconds, the smallest margin in Olympic swimming, ahead of Australian world champion James Magnussen.
Nathan stopped the clock at 47.52 seconds with Magnussen second in 47.53. Canada's Brent Hayden was third in 47.80.
Brazil's Cesar Cielo, the defending champion and reigning world record holder, was sixth in the race to decide the fastest man on water.
While the United States has been the dominant power in Olympic swimming, the last American man to win the 100 freestyle gold was Matt Biondi at Seoul in 1988.
Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Greg Stutchbury