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Men's 100m freestyle relay goes down to the wire

(Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The U.S. won the gold medal in the men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay Sunday night at the Rio Olympics.
France won the silver medal and Australia settled for the bronze medal in the event.

The U.S. team consisted of Nathan Adrian, Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps and Anthony Ervin for the final.

James Feigen, Ryan Held, Blake Pieroni and Ervin posted the second fastest time in the preliminary heats on Sunday afternoon, securing the U.S. a spot in the final.

They owe their success in the preliminary heat to Ervin, the 35-year-old veteran who rallied the team as anchor, setting a world record split in his portion of the relay.

The American rested Olympic 100-meter free champion Adrian and Dressel, who finished 1-2 in the 100 freestyle at the U.S. Olympic trials, for the prelims.

The U.S. men failed to make the 2015 World Championships final and they settled for silver at the 2012 London Games behind gold medal winners France..

Their last Olympic gold in the event for the American came at the 2008 Beijing Games.