|Allison Schmitt smiles after setting a new Olympic record. (US Presswire)|
Allison Schmitt set an Olympic record Tuesday in the women's 200-meter freestyle, swimming it in 1:53.61 and easily coasting to the gold medal.
American Missy Franklin, who won Monday's 100-meter backstroke, finished in fourth.
Franklin, swimming in lane 8, led after the first split, but by the end of the first 100 meters Schmitt had a .85 barrier between her and the silver medal winner, Camille Muffat. The lead only increased, as Schmitt swam one of her most brilliant races of her career.
Muffat, France's best female swimmer, touched the wall in 1:55.58 -- a distant silver, to be certain. Schmitt's win here was revenge for the 400-meter freestyle from Sunday, when Muffat won and Schmitt took second. Storylines: always fun, always omnipresent at the Olympics.
Bronze went to the Australian swimmer, Bronte Barratt, who finished in 1:55.82.
A small dose of extra perspective on Schmitt's win: it's the first gold of her career. She also won a bronze in London, on Saturday, as part of the 4x100 team. She swam in Beijing, where she won a bronze as part of the American 4x200 freestyle relay.