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Dara Torres anchors U.S. silver swim effort

August 10, 2008 | 12:54 am

Dara Torres Anchors U.S. Silver Swim Effort BEIJING--I guess Dara Torres, whose first Olympics was in 1984 in Los Angeles, wasn't content merely to earn a berth on the U.S. swimming team.

She anchored the U.S. 400-meter freestyle relay team to second place behind the Netherlands on Sunday, becoming at 41 the oldest Olympic swimming medalist in history. She is 15 years older than the second-oldest member of the team, Natalie Coughlin, and about 18 years older than the other two, Lacey Nymeyer and Kara Lynn Joyce.

And Torres is more than a quarter of a century older than Cate Campbell, who led off for Australia.

"It's just bizarre,'' Torres said. "I think I might be older than her parents.''

But Torres didn't think it was bizarre that she performed so well in holding off third-place Australia and China for the silver medal. The Netherlands won in an Olympic record time of 3:33.76. The United States set a national record at 3:34.33.

"The water doesn't know what age you are,'' she said.

--Randy Harvey

Photo: Dara Torres after the 400-meter freestyle relay. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press