The highly touted US men’s 400m-medley relay squad forfeited their winning race at the swimming world championships in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday following a faulty exchange.

At first it looked like team USA had sealed an easy victory, besting the runner-ups by a handy 1.5 seconds with their 3:30.06 finish. However, when it was determined that Kevin Cordes had an early start on the second leg of the medley, they were disqualified. Cordes dove into the water .04 seconds before Matt Grevers touched the wall – .01 seconds over the leeway limit of .03 seconds.

“A relay disqualification is not a particular individual’s fault,” anchor Nathan Adrian told Yahoo Sport. “It’s Team USA’s fault and it falls on all of our shoulders. If us four ever step up again, we’re never going to have a disqualification, that’s for sure.”

Cordes, who swam the breaststroke on Sunday before Ryan Lochte’s butterfly leg, addressed the costly mistake in the pool on Twitter:

Initially in second place, the French medley team ended up ascending to first and received gold medals for their 3:31.51 finish. Australia took the silver, and Japan the bronze.

– Chelsea Regan

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