The race will also be remembered for the stunning swim off Sun Yang, who came from nowhere to give China what had looked like an impossible bronze medal Friday, reports Xinhua.
The race was expected to be a contest between the Americans, Russians and French. Though Frenchman Daniel Agnel aimed to get a flying start, Daniala Izotov had put the Russians in front.
Lochte then produced a strong second leg to give the Americans the lead despite having already raced twice in the evening to give Charles Houchin a half second advantage in the third leg. Ricky Berens was in control for the US with the Russians second and the ‘real’ race between France and Japan for third until Sun Yang appeared on the scene.
The man, who has already won the 400m and 1500m golds, was fifth when he got into the pool, over two seconds behind France but produced the best split of the race to swim his final leg in 1:43.96 and give China a miraculous bronze medal.