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2012 Olympics, Women's 100m Freestyle Final: Jessica Hardy Struggles, Missy Franklin Places Fifth

Long Beach native Jessica Hardy was in the running for a gold medal on Thursday afternoon in the Women's 100m Freestyle Final. She was up against a very tough field, headlined by America's new favorite swimmer, Missy Franklin.

Despite a solid start from Hardy, she did not get a strong push off the wall and fell all the way back to 8th place. She finished 54.02 seconds, a little more than a full second behind the winner. Franklin appeared to be fatigued in the closing meters of the race, and she ended up placing fifth in 53.64.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo (can I buy a vowel?) of the Netherlands won gold as she set an olympic record in an even 53 seconds. Aliaksandra Herasimenia (can I buy another vowel?) of Belarus took home silver. Yi Tang of China finished in third and won bronze.

Check out SI's complete medal tracker here.

Stick with this StoryStream for more coverage of local athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games. For more on the 2012 Olympic Games, make sure that you check out SB Nation's dedicated Olympics hub.