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Video - Bernard wins 100m freestyle gold
Frenchman Alain Bernard beat Australian world record holder Eamon Sullivan in a thrilling 100m freestyle final to take Olympic gold.
Bernard and Sullivan had traded the world record in the heats but it was the Frenchman who came out on top in the final, winning in 47.21secs.
It made up for Bernard's disappointment at missing out on 4x100m freestyle relay gold to the US on Monday.
Jason Lezak of the US and Brazilian Cesar Cielo Filho shared the bronze.
It was Lezek who chased down Bernard in the last leg of the 4x100m relay to help the US win gold.
But individual glory softened the blow of his relay failure earlier in the week.
"The best moment is when I turned back, and I saw the number one next to my name," he said.
"It's huge, unbelievable. At any moment I felt that I could be beaten."
He added: "It's enormous. I can't believe it. After the relay I could have sunk, but I told myself that after all these years of hard work, I can't let myself go down.
"My legs were shaking at the start. I was really tense, just like the other seven guys."